In a move seen by some as a precursor to the takeover of Great Offshore, shipbuilder Bharati Shipyard, which had stepped in to help Great Offshore's promoters tide over a financial crisis in December, has acquired a little less than 15 per cent stake in the company.
However, Bharati Shipyard managing director P C Kapoor told CNBC-TV 18 that the company does not have any plans of making an open offer for Great Offshore. "There is no plan to assume management of Great Offshore, nor are there any plans to sell a stake," he said. ''We are very happy with the present management. We are treating this as a strategic investment and it will remain like that.''
About five months ago, Great Offshore vice chairman and managing director Vijay Sheth pledged a 14.89-per cent stake with two Bharati Shipyard group companies for a Rs200 crore loan to repay creditors. "We have decided to acquire the pledged shares and hold these as a strategic long term investment," Kapoor said. Bharati has acquired the shares at Rs315 each, for a total of Rs174 crore.
Bharati Shipyard said its two arms - Natural Power Ventures and Dhanshree Properties - have acquired the pledged 14.89 per cent stake from its two other units - Advitiya Urja and Vishudh Urja. "We consider investment in Great Offshore as a step towards the company's aspiration to have foothold in all spheres of the offshore industry. This would generate long-term benefits and add strength to international operations," Kapoor added.