CIL to avoid issuing fresh shares during stake sale

State-owned miner Coal India Ltd, which will list on the stock exchanges soon, has told the union government that it does not want to issue fresh shares for its much anticipated initial public offering, where the government will divest some of its stake in the company.

CIL chairman Partha S Bhattacharyya told newspersons in Kolkata that this was a significant departure from the approach of most state-owned firms, which have sold shares along with the union government at the time of partial disinvestment.

CIL had a consolidated cash balance of Rs29,665 crore at the end of the fiscal 2009, and it is not seeking to expand its Rs6,316 crore equity base.

The company was recognised as a 'Navratna' (a status that gives state-owned firms a certain degree of autonomy) in October last year, and under government rules it has to get listed within three years.

Bhattacharya also said CIL has intensified efforts for acquisition of overseas coal assets in the past few months and is in talks with coal mine companies in the US for a possible tie up.

He added that while these firms have responded to CIL's global expressions of interest, the modalities for the partnership are yet to be finalised. CIL may either go for outright purchase of operational coal mines or pick up equity in US mining properties, Bhattacharya said.