Takeover battle for Mangalore Chemicals set to escalate; Deepak ups stake to 32%

Takeover battle for MCFL is set to be further intensified as Deepak Fertilisers has raised its stake by about 6 per cent through an open offer to about 32 per cent and inched closer towards the rival Zuari-UB group's combined stake.

Deepak Fertilisers has acquired about 6 per cent stake, including 2.66 per cent stake from Morgan Stanley and Karnataka State Cooperative Marketing Federation, in the open offer closed yesterday at a price of Rs 93.60 that, sources said.

"We are in very comfortable position. Zuari and UB group still have edge over Deepak Fertilisers, but takeover battle for MCFL is not over," a top Zuari Group official told PTI.

Both open offers were started on October 1 and closed on October 20.

The battle for MCFL between Deepak Fertilisers and Zuari Group was triggered in April 2013 when the latter bought about 10 per cent stake in MCFL through open market.

Later, Deepak Fertilisers acquired 24.46 per cent stake in MCFL in one-go in July 2013. After this, Zuari group had increased its stake to 16.43 per cent in the same month.

The battle for control of Mangalore Chemicals heated up again after the Competition Commission of India (CCI) cleared an open offer launched by Zuari Group firms on September 4.

The CCI had cleared the open offer of Deepak Fertilisers on August 19.

At present, Deepak Fertiliser holds 25.31 per cent stake in Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd (MCFL), whereas consortium of Zuari group companies have 16.43 per cent stake and Vijay Mallaya's UB group 21.97 per cent stake.

The Zuari group along with Vijay Mallaya's UB group needs about 12 per cent additional stake in MCFL to take control of the company while at the same time Deepak Fertilisers would require another about 25 per cent stake in the MCFL.

Zuari Agro Chemicals had also entered into an agreement this year to use Mangalore Chemicals?s facilities for contract production.

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