Nine bidders eye FTIL’s stake in MCX

As many as nine bidders have evinced interest in buying 24 per cent stake in the country's largest commodity bourse Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd (MCX) from Financial Technologies (India) Ltd, as per a stock market disclosure. The deal to pick the stake, worth over $110 million, is expected to be completed by April 25.

"The Restructuring Committee received non-binding bids from nine prospective investors, which include marquee Indian and global conglomerates," the company said, adding that it is making all possible efforts to "complete the proposed sale of its 24 per cent equity stake in MCX by April 25, 2014."

The crisis-hit FTIL, however, did not reveal the names of the short-listed bidders.

In the statement, FTIL said that it is planning to write to the MCX board seeking its cooperation for management interaction with the shortlisted bidders and customary due diligence to enable proposed sale within the defined timeline.

JM Financial, the banker for the stake sale, will now take the discussion with these parties forward, while the restructuring committee will finalise the bidder(s) by next week and recommend the same to the board, which would meet on April 25 to select the final bidder, after the due diligence request of bidders is completed by MCX, it added.

Media reports suggest that Tata Capital, Kotak Mahindra Bank and BSE are the entities that evinced interest to buy FTIL's stake in MCX.

In February, FTIL had constituted a committee to propose and oversee its restructuring plan which included FTIL divesting up to 24 per cent in MCX.

The development follows an order by FMC in December that declared FTIL and its promoter Jignesh Shah unfit to operate an exchange in the country, in light of the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) scam. FMC also directed FTIL—which owns 26 per cent stake in MCX—and Shah to bring down their stake in the exchange to 2 per cent.

Following this, MCX board had also asked its promoter FTIL, which in turn is backed by private equity firm Blackstone, to cut its stake in line with the FMC order.

Last week, MCX had scrapped a proposed preferential allotment which would have diluted the stake of FTIL by default.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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