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Linde India's delisting bid falls through, fails to match Sebi norms

Linde India was the first company that tried to delist under the new guidelines introduced by market regulator.

Stock market
The BOC Group’s plan to delist its domestic arm Linde India has fallen through. 

In a stock exchange notification on Thursday, Linde India said, “We wish to inform you that we have received a letter dated January 24, 2019 from the BOC Group, the acquirer, informing that it will publish the post delisting offer announcement on January 25, 2019, as required in accordance with Regulation 18 of the Delisting Regulations in relation to failure of the delisting offer in the newspapers.”

Linde India was the first to attempt delisting under the new delisting guidelines introduced by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). The new framework also uses the reverse book building (RBB) process, where minority shareholders place bids to arrive at a delisting price. 

The promoter group then has to agree to acquire all non-promoter shares at the priced discovered through RBB to ensure the success of the delisting bid, failing which it used to fall through. However, under the new rules, the promoter group gets a chance to place a counter offer, which if agreeable to non-promoter shareholders ensures delisting.

According to reports, BOC had faced technical difficulties in placing a counter offer. Shares of Linde India closed at Rs 712 per share, up 8.7 per cent. Sources said the price discovered through the RBB process was in excess of Rs 2,000. In other words, the minority shareholders were demanding Rs 2,000 per share to take the firm public.

It couldn’t be ascertained what was the counter offer, if any, made by BOC. Market players said shares of Linde India could see a correction as BOC has given up the bid to take the company private. The BOC group currently holds 75 per cent stake in Linde India.