Saroj Poddar to sell MCF stake to highest bidder

Last Updated: Wed, Sep 25, 2013 20:40 hrs

A day after Vijay Mallya ruled out selling his controlling stake in Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers (MCF) to Deepak Fertilisers or Zuari, the latter’s promoter, Saroj Poddar, said he’d sell his 16 per cent stake to the highest bidder.

Analysts expecting an interesting situation where Poddar might sell his stake to Pune's Deepak Fertilisers, as the latter has a little over 24 per cent share in MCF, just a notch below 25 per cent. According to the law, once a promoter has 25 per cent or more stake in a company, it would automatically trigger an open offer. Mallya’s change of mind over giving away control in MCF appears to have disappointed Poddar, who said there was no point in staying invested. He said he’d not rule out selling it to Deepak. “I would not judge anyone; the highest bidder will get it,” he added.

Zuari has invested close to Rs 90 crore in buying a little over 16 per cent in MCF. Deepak and Zuari have been repeatedly purchasing shares of MCF in the open market.

A source at Deepak, said they’d not buy Poddar’s shares. “Let him (Poddar) sell his shares in the market,” he said, while maintaining that Deepak Fertilisers’ Shailesh Mehta would hold on to his stake MCF.

“Deepak would just need another per cent share for an open offer. They know that under Mallya’s leadership, MCF will not go for expansion, so as an investment it will only pay off well when Deepak has got management control,” a sector analyst said.
While Poddar is out of the race for now, an interesting battle between Mallya and Mehta seems to be on cards in the coming months. 

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