Power Grid FPO to hit market on 9 November

Power Grid FPO to hit market on 9 November

Mumbai: India’s state-run Power Grid Corp’s follow-on public offer to raise up to $1.9 billion will hit the markets on 9 November and close 12 November, its chairman and managing director told reporters.

“As suggested by DoD (Department of Disinvestment), it will be opening on ninth and will close on 12th November," S.K. Chaturvedi said.

The follow-on public offer by the transmission utility comprises new shares of 10% equity by the company and sale of another 10% by the government.

The proceeds will be mainly utilised for constructing nine country-wide high capacity power transmission corridors costing $13 billion, Chaturvedi said.

Another state-run company Coal India Ltd is accepting bids for up to $3.5 billion initial share sale, while the Indian government has a target of raising $8.5 billion from share sales of state-run companies in 2010/11.

Earlier, Power Grid, which carries 45% of the power in the country, posted a 42% jump in net profit to Rs650 crore for the September quarter.

International Projects

Power Grid, which has projects in Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Dubai and Bangladesh, is the lowest bidder for transmission network strengthening project in Nigeria, Chaturvedi said.

However, due to a stalemate over final awarding of the contract, rates have gone higher, the 59-year-old chairman added.

“We have requested them (Nigerians) to allow us to revise our proposal, which they have agreed, and we are now in process to submit our revised proposal."

The firm is also one of the seven contenders for a transmission project in Oman and has also been short-listed for a Kenyan project, he added without providing financial details.

Telecom Biz

Power Grid with a network of 150,000 transmission towers in India is planning to grow its telecom business by renting out at least 10-15% of its tower infrastructure to the telecom firms in the country, Chaturvedi said.

The bids for allotting towers to telecom firms in the northern region will be closed on 15 November and final contracts could be awarded in another month’s time, he said.

Power Grid, which appoints turn-key project contractors to lay down its transmission network, is seen releasing orders worth Rs14,000 crore in FY11, while Rs7,000 crore have already been awarded and an order worth Rs6,000 will be released in November, he said.

Shares in the firm ended down 0.95% at Rs104.25 in a weak Mumbai market.