Govt to focus on CIL IPO; pushes Hind Copper issue to Dec

Govt to focus on CIL IPO; pushes Hind Copper issue to Dec

New Delhi: In a bid to ensure that proposed mega stake sale of Coal India next month gets the space and mindshare it deserves, the government has postponed the public issue of Hindustan Copper to December.

The 20% share sale of the state-owned Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL) will not be launched in September, as planned earlier, an official source told PTI.

“The government does not want any public issue to take place within 4-5 weeks of Coal India’s initial public offer, which is scheduled in mid-October. So, the FPO of Hindustan Copper is now slated for November-end to December," the official said.

In June, HCL CMD Shakeel Ahmed had said that the share sale could take place in September.

In July, the copper producer appointed UBS Securities, ICICI Securities, SBI Capital, Kotak Mahindra and Enam Securities to manage the issue that will see the government divest 10% holding, while the company will issue fresh shares in the same proportion.

“The bankers are preparing the draft red herring prospectus for the FPO which is expected to be filed with market regulator Sebi by September-end or early next month," the official said.

The company could not be contacted for comments.

Already, 0.41% HCL stake with the public. The proposed FPO will see the government holding come down to 81.45% from 99.59% at present.

Mines minister B K Handique had earlier said the share sale could generate around Rs4,000 crore. The Cabinet had in June cleared disinvestment plans of both HCL and Coal India.

HCL shares on Friday ended at Rs456.05, up 2.26% on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Coal India’s 4-day IPO is to be launched on 18 October. The government is selling 10% stake in the world’s largest coal miner through the IPO, which is expected to fetch about Rs12,000-15,000 crore. It is billed as the biggest market mop-up plan in India.

Besides Coal India, the government is expected to divest stake in companies like SAIL, HCL, Power grid during the current financial year 2010-11 and raise an estimated 40,000 crore through disinvestment.

HCL had earlier said it would embark on increasing its mining capacity from the present 3.2 million tonne annually to 12 million tonne in the next five-six years, at a capital investment of Rs4,580 crore.

The company is also eyeing copper assets in countries like Chile and Namibia, Afghanistan.