Millennium Post

Govt starts process to throw away NFL stake

The Finance Ministry has initiated the process of 7.64 per cent stake sale in National Fertilisers (NFL) and will soon appoint merchant bankers for the disinvestment, which may fetch over Rs 172 crore to the exchequer.

The Department of Disinvestment (DoD) has invited expression of interest from merchant bankers with experience in public offerings/OFS to act as book running lead managers and to assist and advise government in the process. The government plans to disinvest 7.64 per cent stake, or over 3.74 crore shares, of NFL through Offer For Sale (OFS) route in the domestic market.
At the current market price of Rs 46 apiece, the 7.64 per cent stake sale could fetch around Rs 172 crore to the exchequer. At present, the government holds 97.64 per cent stake in NFL.Last week, an inter-ministerial group, headed by Disinvestment secretary, had cleared NFL stake sale. The paid-up equity capital of the company, as on 31 March, 2012 was Rs 490.58 crore.
The stake sale in NFL is part of DoD’s effort to meet the minimum 10 per cent public shareholding norm as stipulated by market regulator Sebi for PSUs.

The government uses the OFS route, popularly known as auction method, to divest its stake in PSUs that come in top 100 companies as per market capitalisation. It has already used the route to sell stake in Oil India, NTPC, NMDC and Hindustan Copper in last fiscal.
The government proposes to raise Rs 40,000 crore by way of disinvestment in the current fiscal.
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