LIC wins bid for Harshad's ACC shares at Rs 170 per share

Mumbai: The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) yesterday won the bid for the 1.62 crore block of shares of Associated Cement Companies (ACC) auctioned by the custodian. LIC's winning bid? Rs 170 per share. The sale of the shares, which belonged to Harshad Mehta and company, was approved on Friday by the special court hearing the Mehta case. The approval for the sale went through when the management of ACC, which was given the first right to make an offer for the shares after the highest bid price was ascertained, also expressed disinterest.

"Because the bidder is LIC and because it is at Rs 170 per share, we are not interested [in buying back the shares]," said Goolam Vahanvati, counsel for ACC.

LIC, however, was compelled to raise its offer price from its original bid price of Rs 163 per share, when it consented to the custodians' request to the special court that LIC quote "any price significantly higher" and "closer" to the market price.

LIC will now hold around 25 per cent stake in ACC, its existing stake in the company being over 16 per cent.