Intensifying its efforts to wrest control of Vijay Mallya’s Mangalore Refinery And Petrochemicals Ltd, Zuari group today joined hands with Mallya’s UB group and made a counter offer at a higher price than those offered by Deepak Fertilisers.
In a takeover bid, Deepak Fertilisers on April 23 raised its stake in the Mangalore Chemicals to 25.31 per cent (from 24.46 per cent) and announced an open offer to buy another 26 per cent stake at Rs 63 per share for about Rs 194 crore.
However, the Zuari and UB group have also made a combined offer for buying 26 per cent stake in Mangalore Chemicals at Rs 68.55 per share aggregating to Rs 211.22 crore, according to BSE filing by MCFL.
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Zuari Fertilisers and Chemicals holds 16.43 per cent stake in Mangalore Chemicals, while promoter United Breweries (UB) group has 22.91 per cent. The combined stake of both companies is more than the required 25 per cent stake to make an open offer.
The open offer is a combined one between Zuari group’s Zuari Chemicals and Fertilsers and Zuari Agro Chemicals along with UB group’s United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd, Kingfisher Finvest India Ltd and McDowell Holdings Ltd.
After Deepak Fertilisers open offer, Zuari Fertilisers Chairman Saroj Kumar Poddar had said: “We are evaluating and examining the development. All options are open.”
A UB spokesperson had said: “We will study the offer, review our options and respond accordingly.”
The battle for the takeover bid of MCFL has been going on for about a year.
In April last year, Zuari Fertilisers had bought about 10 per cent stake in the MCFL from SBI group entities and open market, followed by Deepak Fertilisers acquisition of 24.46 per cent stake in the UB group company in July.
Later, Zuari group increased its stake in MCFL to 16.43 per cent during July 2013, in two-three rounds.
Zuari, Deepak and MCFL compete in the fertiliser business, but the huge debt burden of the Mallya-led group has led to speculation about MCFL being an apparent takeover target.
“We are evaluating the counter offer and will take necessary steps after consulting our investment bankers”, Deepak Fertiliser spokesman Pranav Thakkar told PTI when asked for his comments on the development.
Meanwhile the shares of MCFL were trading at Rs 72.50 apiece on BSE, higher than the price offered in both open offers.