Home / Companies / News /  Apollo, Piramal, Adani in race to buy HLL Lifecare
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NEW DELHI : The government will soon call financial bids for HLL Lifecare Ltd from bidders, including Piramal Group, Adani Group, Apollo Group of Hospitals and Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd (Meil), said two people familiar with the plans.

A senior government official said that due diligence is currently on, and the process of selecting a winner would be based on the financial bids. “The companies submitted their expressions of interest. The transaction adviser is evaluating them, and the process (of getting financial bids) will begin soon," the official, one of the two people cited above, said.

The government began the strategic disinvestment of HLL in December and set the deadline for submitting expressions of interest on 14 March, after an extension.

Thiruvananthapuram-based HLL, the maker of Moods condoms and Happy Days sanitary pads, also manufacturers re-hydration salts, blood transfusion equipment and wound-care products, blood banking equipment, neo-natal care equipment, surgical and healthcare products.

The government had hired PwC as the transaction adviser. The department of investment and public asset management, the nodal body handling the sale of government shareholding in CPSEs, barred government-owned agencies, including public sector units (PSUs), from participating in the stake sale.

The condition has become a bone of contention between the Centre and Kerala, with the latter seeking a handover of the assets to the state through a valid bidding process. Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the first right to hold the assets and land of the public sector unit and cited principles of cooperative federalism as grounds for allowing the state government to be part of the bidding.

The state had proposed that its unit, Kerala State Industrial Development Corp. (KSIDC), participate in the bidding, but was not allowed. Vijayan contended that the preliminary information memorandum for sale did not explicitly say that the state government or state government entities were not allowed to participate.

Emails sent to spokespeople for the finance ministry, department of investment and public asset management, Piramal Group, Adani Group, Apollo Group of Hospitals and Mein did not elicit a response as of Friday evening.

While Kerala continues to contest its case, the Centre is not holding back its disinvestment plans for the profit-making PSU.

“On completion of the transaction as well as the stipulated lock-in period, flexibility would be given to the strategic acquirer for an easy exit from a part of the business which is not in sync with the business plans of the acquirer," the government said in its preliminary information memorandum issued last year.

As of 31 March 2021, HLL’s authorised capital was 300 crore, and its paid-up share capital was 15.53 crore.

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