Govt may fast-track disinvestment of Bharat Earth Movers, Shipping Corp

New Delhi: In order to expedite the privatisation of non-strategic state-run businesses, the central government is reportedly planning to issue an expressions of interest (EoI) call for Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) and Shipping Corporation of India (SCI).

“The demerger of land and non-core assets of both companies, which has held up the stake-sale plans, is expected to be completed by October this year,” the report said.

The government is attempting to expedite the secondary market bids of others, such as National Fertilizers Ltd (NFL) and Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Ltd, according to the newspaper (RCF).

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“It is not only strategic divestment, the government is also looking to unlock value through stake sale in the secondary market,” cited ET quoting an official aware of the details.

The demerger of BEML’s real estate and other non-core assets to BEML Land Assets Ltd. was given the green light by the corporate affairs ministry earlier this month.

According to the official, the demerger process would be finished by the end of September or the beginning of October, and every shareholder of BEML will receive shares in BEML Land Assets.

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The official added that EoIs for the IDBI Bank disinvestment will also be invited soon. The official said the government is also analysing all potential bidders and a decision will be made based on market conditions.

The report also stated that the Center anticipates finishing BEML’s demerger next month. The record date for determining the eligible shareholders for a 1:1 issue of BEML Land Assets Ltd. shares has been designated by the company’s board of directors as September 9.

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“Once the process is completed, we will come up with the EoI by November,” the official told ET.

BEML’s net sales increased by 48.38 percent to Rs. 669.18 crore in June 2022 from Rs. 451.00 crore in June 2021. SCI’s net sales increased by 42.53 percent to Rs 1,464.94 crore in June 2022 from Rs 1,027.83 crore in June 2021.

Nirmala Sitharaman, the finance minister, includes the privatisation of SCI in the divestment programme in the Union Budget 2021–2022.

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