Firms raise $530 mn in share sales

Firms raise $530 mn in share sales

Mumbai: Indian companies and their founders raised a combined $530 million in share sales on Wednesday, sources familiar with the deals said, taking advantage of stock market that has risen to 16-month highs this week.

Construction and engineering firm Jaiprakash Associates raised nearly $250 million through the sale of about 50 million shares at Rs238.46 each, two sources with knowledge of the deal told Reuters.

The founders of Suzlon Energy Ltd sold 70 million shares to raise about $142 million, stock exchange data showed, and the firm said the proceeds would be infused into the company.

The sale of the 4.5% stake cut the founders’ holding to 53.08%, a statement from the wind turbine maker said.

“The proceeds raised through the sale of minor stake are intended to be used primarily to infuse funds into the company as unsecured debt or equity," chairman Tulsi Tanti said.

Suzlon had planned to sell about 50 million shares but raised the offer to 70 million shares, sources said. Citigroup was the sole arranger for the offer.

Drug maker Cipla Ltd raised about $140 million by selling shares to institutional investors at Rs263.75 each, a person familiar with the deal said.

Capitalising on a sharemarket that has risen 75% in 2009, Indian firms have raised about $15 billion through share sales, with most of it concentrated in the past six months.

Jaiprakash’s second sale

On Tuesday, sources told Reuters that Jaiprakash planned to raise up to $200 million through the share sale.

The shares were part of the treasury stock created after the company absorbed its units Jaypee Hotels, Jaypee Cement, Gujarat Anjan Cement and group firm Jaiprakash Enterprises in March, creating a stock of around 200 million shares.

In June, Jaiprakash had sold 25 million shares from the block at Rs201.05 each, raising $104 million.

“The funds may be used for their growth plans in cement or power businesses, or even to retire some high-cost debt," an analyst at brokerage Religare Hichens Harrison said.

“This is their second share sale this year. It should take care of their funds requirement in the near term."

Jaiprakash, which has interests in hydropower, construction, real estate, cement and hospitality, has debt of about Rs10,000 crore ($2.1 billion), and plans to nearly double its cement-making capacity to 25 million tonnes a year by 2010.