New Delhi: The government has invited merchant bankers to help it sell minority stakes in 51 companies, including RIL, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and L&T, and is looking at exiting them within three years. The Specified Undertaking of UTI (SUUTI) has investments in these 51 listed as well as unlisted companies, like Hindustan Unilever, ITC Ltd, Jaiprakash Associates and a host of Tata Group firms.
The government holds minority stake in these companies through SUUTI, which was formed in 2003 as an offshoot of erstwhile UTI, and is looking at selling them either through an OFS, block deal, bulk deal or regular sale through stock exchanges. As per the Request for Proposal, SUUTI plans to appoint up to three merchant bankers/advisers and selling brokers for assisting and advising on the SUUTI Holdings for a period of three years.
“The advice shall be regarding sale of the shares held by SUUTI in various companies either through the Offer For Sale (OFS), Block Deal, Bulk Deal, Regular sale through Stock Exchange or any such other mechanism subject,” the RFP said, while inviting bids from merchant bankers by August 1. The bankers would have to put in a single consolidated bid for the entire SUUTI Holdi-ngs. However, the sale process of each of the 51 companies would be carried out individually.
Of the 51 companies in which SUUTI holds stake, eight are unlisted entities — NSDL, STCI Finance, Over The Counter Excha-nge, Stock Holding Corpo-ration of India, UTI-IAS Ltd and UTI Infrastruc-ture Technology Services, North Eastern Developm-ent Finance Corporation and NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure. Sale of SUUTI holdings would help swell government’s disinvestment kitty. It has also kept the option open for including those companies in which SUUTI holds stake in the second CPSE Exchange Traded Fund, which the government plans in the current fiscal.
The government has set up an ambitious disinvestment target of Rs 56,500 crore for 2016-17. Of the budgeted target, Rs 36,000 crore is to come from minority stake sale in PSUs and the remaining Rs 20,500 crore is estimated to come from strategic sale in both profit and loss-making companies. Meanwhile, NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya said that the government is expected to go ahead with the strategic divestment in public sector units within the next six months besides closing down sick firms that are beyond revival, “On strategic divestment, you will see action in the next six months I would say, meaning that the process is on, but you will see some action happening in the next six months,” he said....