Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Saturday sought to drive home the point that it would be enough to offload just 3.56 per cent equity from the navaratna PSU to meet the regulatory norm of 10 per cent public holding since already 6.44 per cent stake is being held by the public.
Responding to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s July 12 letter, Jayalalithaa recalled that in her earlier missive on July 7, she had mentioned the 3.56 per cent figure. “While the State PSUs would be prepared to buy the entire 5 per cent of the equity of NLC proposed to be disinvested, since 6.44 per cent of equity is already with the public, it would be adequate if only 3.56 per cent is offered for sale to meet the regulatory norm of 10 per cent public holding,” she pointed out.
The Chief Minister said a team of officials from Tamil Nadu would meet the authorities of SEBI and Government of India at Mumbai on July 15 to finalise the modalities of the transaction. Stating that the details of the structuring and execution of the transaction would be finalised in this meeting, she expressed confidence that this would be a positive development, which would enable an early resolution of the labour unrest in Neyveli.
She said the Tamil Nadu team, headed by Finance Secretary K Shanmugam, appointed as the nodal officer for finalising the transaction, had already held detailed discussions with the Secretary, Disinvestment Department, on July 10 at New Delhi.
Various modalities of the disinvestment, including identification of the State PSUs that are Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs) and eligible to participate in an Institutional Placement Programme (IPP), the appropriate manner of drafting the eligibility criteria in the offer document to ensure that the disinvestment is carried out in favour of these entities; the pricing formula, the timeline for effecting the transaction besides the total quantum of disinvestment to be carried out were discussed during the talks.
The Prime Minister, in his reply to the Chief Minister’s letter, had agreed to her offer to buy the five per cent of NLC shares. The PM had also said that since 93.56 per cent of the NLC shares were with the GOI, the public sector character of the NLC would not be altered.