ABG, Bharati in bidding war for Great Offshore | business | Hindustan Times
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ABG, Bharati in bidding war for Great Offshore

business Updated: Jun 23, 2009 23:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

A rare head-to-head bidding war has broken out in the country’s stock market, and the gainers could be the shareholders of Great Offshore Ltd, an oilfields service provider in the throes of a takeover battle after the Sheth family lost control.

Surat-based ABG Shipyard on Tuesday announced a counter offer to Great Offshore shareholders, bettering Bharti Shipyard’s open offer made earlier this month.

ABG Shipyard made a counter offer of Rs 375 per share for Great Offshore against Bharati Shipyard’s Rs 344 per share. Bharti promptly faced the challenge, saying it would raise the offer price to Rs 403 per share – and dangled an offer to pay more.

ABG has increased its stake by 4.5 percentage points to 19.5 per cent at a price of Rs 403 per share, which now becomes the minimum offer price for Great Offshore Ltd (GOL) shareholders.

ABG Shipyard will now have to better the revised offer from Bharti.

ABG and its wholly owned subsidiary Eleventh Land Developers Private Limited, collectively own around two per cent stake in GOL. The company plans to increase its stake by 32.12 per cent.

Bharti owns 19.5 per cent, having acquired 4.5 per cent stake through its 100 per cent subsidiary Dhanshree Properties at Rs 405 per share. It had earlier bought pledged shares equivalent to 14.89 per cent equity stakes in GOL at Rs 315 per share.

The company has offered take the stake up to 40 per cent by acquiring 20 per cent stakes more. “The offer rate would be Rs 403 or more per share. We have not decided on it yet,” said PC Kapoor, Managing Director of BSL, who was not surprised by the ABG bid.

“We have no conflict with Bharati,” said Rishi Agarwal, Managing Director of ABG Shipyard Ltd. “We want to be a one-stop shop for marines solutions.” Kapoor is betting on a Rs 100-crore cash chest and support from GOL’s old management led by Vijay Sheth.

ABG Shipyard would be funding for the offer through internal accruals and it has over Rs 250 crore on its books now in cash.