The Shipping Corporation of India is planning to raise 10 per cent additional equity through a public offer for part-funding its acquisition plans. The government is also planning to divest 10 per cent of its stake in the domestic shipping company.
The public issue is likely to hit the market during the current financial year. “The public issue would be launched keeping in mind the market conditions and share prices. By the end of this fiscal, the IPO would come. The proposal is being discussed by the government,” said K Mohandas, secretary, shipping ministry.
The Union government holds 80.12 per cent stake in the company. Of the remaining, Life Insurance Corporation holds little over 10 per cent and the rest is with the public. With the government diluting 10 per cent and the company raising 10 per cent fresh equity, the government holding is expected to come down to about 64 per cent. The issue could fetch around Rs 1,300 crore.
SCI plans to buy 30 vessels by 2012. It has already ordered 39 vessels at an investment of $2-billion. “We require $1 billion per annum for the next two-three years to fund the acquisitions plan," said SCI chairman S Hajara. The company's capacity is expected to go up by 2.5 million dead weight tonnage (DWT) from 5.2 million DWT.