The government today came out with advertisements in leading newspapers of the country, asking for bids from merchant bankers and legal advisors to undertake stake sale in three of its companies. But there’s a catch. Neither of the two advertisements – one for partial stake sale in a railway company and another for complete sale of two power producers – mentions any name. This is the first time that a government advertisement is seeking bids from advisors without mentioning the companies’ names.
Proposals by merchant bankers and legal advisors have to be submitted by November 4.
While the government aims to sell only a partial stake in the railway public sector company, it is willing to hand over its management control, as per the advertisement.
A group of Central government secretaries had on 30 September approved sale of entire government stake in four public sector companies and partial stake sale in another.
Three of the five companies in which sale of government stake was approved are THDC, North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (NEEPCO) and Container Corp of India (Concor) and it is quite likely today’s advertisements referred to them.
Full sale of government stake was approved in the power PSUs besides sale of 30% equity of Concor from the government holding along with handover of its management control.
The two other companies in which full government stake sale was approved included Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Shipping Corp of India (SCI).
The government holds 53.29% stake in BPCL, 54.80% in Concor and 63.75% in SCI. THDC is a 75:25 joint venture between the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government. Entire equity of NEEPCO belongs to the Central government.