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The takeover battle for Great Offshore Ltd is entering the next level with capital market regulator Sebi giving its green signal to the two competing open offers by rival bidders ABG Shipyard and Bharati Shipyard, the country’s top two shipbuilders.

Both the bidders are seeking control of First Carlyle Ventures-backed Great Offshore, the country’s largest integrated offshore services firm.

Although neither of the two bidders has yet made a formal disclosure to the stock exchange that Sebi has cleared their open offer, they have reportedly been informed of the developments. Even Sebi has not yet announced whether it has cleared the offers.

Both bidders have raised their offers several times since May, when Bharati Shipyard first acquired a 14.89% stake in Great Offshore. This followed forfeiture of shares pledged by Great Offshore promoter Vijay Sheth with Bharati. This was at a transaction price of Rs315/ share.

Bharati Shipyard has been slowly hiking its stake from open market and two months back it bought 3% stake taking its stake to over 22%. Some shares were bought at a price as high as Rs 560 a piece by Bharati making it the new floor price for the open offer by Bharati.

ABG Shipyard’s last offer price was Rs 520 and is currently holding over 8% in the company. It is yet to revise its price upwards to match or exceed that offered by Bharati. But the bidding war is likely to intensify again after the two getting a go-ahead for their open offers.

Great Offshore scrip is trading at Rs 538 up 3.6% at BSE on Thursday 2 PM after hitting its 52 week high of Rs 584 in mid-September. Bharati Shipyard shares rose 2.2% and are trading at Rs 168 and ABG Shipyard’s stock rose over 3% and is trading at 208.7 at BSE as of 2 PM.

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