Hindustan Copper sees stake sale OK next week

Hindustan Copper sees stake sale OK next week

New Delhi: State-run Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL) is expecting the Cabinet to approve its plan for a 20% stake sale by next week and will appoint merchant bankers by the middle of this month, the company’s chairman said on Wednesday.

“For the book running lead managers, we have issued a tender. I see no issues with cabinet approval as no ministry has opposed it," Shakeel Ahmed, chairman and managing director of HCL, told Reuters from Kolkata.

“Both are on course."

Ahmed said the public issue is expected to be completed by September or October and the funds raised would be used for expansion of mines in India and overseas.

“Our target for the full 20% is about Rs4,000 crore to Rs5,000 crore ($0.85-$1.06 billion), depending on market conditions and the price recommended by the merchant banker," he said.

For the issue, the government plans to offload 10% of its stake and Hindustan Copper the rest, Ahmed said.

Hindustan Copper, the third largest copper producer in India behind Sterlite Industries and Hindalco Industries, is India’s biggest miner of copper ores.

The company, which has mothballed one of its two smelters since December 2008 as it turned economically unviable, aims to step up its copper ore, concentrate and metal output in fiscal 2010-11 that started on 1 April.

Ore output for the fiscal is targeted at 3.6 million tonnes against 3.2 million tonnes in 2009-10.

Copper concentrates and metals production is aimed at 36,000 tonnes this fiscal, from 28,200 tonnes in the previous year.