Government Opens Bids To Sell 64% Stake In Shipping Corporation

Government plans to sell 296.9 million shares, its entire stake of 63.75 per cent in Shipping Corp
Government plans to sell 296.9 million shares, its entire stake of 63.75 per cent in Shipping Corp

The Ministry of Finance on Tuesday, December 22, invited expressions of interest for the strategic disinvestment of its 63.75 per cent stake in the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), the country's largest shipping company, along with the transfer of management control. The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has issued a Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) inviting the Expressions of Interest (EoI) from potential buyers by February 13, 2021. At the current market price, the government's stake sale in Shipping Corporation of India is valued at about Rs 2,500 crore.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in November last year gave the in-principle approval for the strategic divestment of Shipping Corporation. However, the plans were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The government has appointed RBSA Capital Advisors LLP as its transaction advisor to manage the disinvestment process.

The disinvestment process is being implemented through the competitive bidding route. The preliminary information memorandum for inviting the expressions of interest from interested parties can be downloaded from websites of DIPAM, Shipping Corporation, Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, and RBSA Capital Advisors LLP.  The government has proposed the strategic disinvestment of its entire shareholding in the company comprising 29,69,42,977 equity shares, which consist of 63.75 per cent of Shipping Corporation's equity share capital.

The upcoming Union Budget 2021-22 has set a record divestment target of Rs 2.1 lakh crore. So far, the government has raised Rs 12,380 crore through the minority stake sale in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs) and share buybacks this fiscal year. The strategic sale process of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Air India is ongoing and both the firms have received multiple expressions of interest from potential buyers. 

The Shipping Corporation of India is a central public sector enterprise, under the administrative control of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways, primarily engaged in the transportation of goods, ferrying passengers. The state-run company's own fleet includes crude oil tankers, bulk carriers, product tankers, passenger-cum[-cargo vessels, container vessels, LPG/ammonia carriers, and offshore supply vessels.

Shares of Shipping Corporation were trading at Rs 86.25, up 4.48 per cent over their previous close on the BSE.