Poddar's Adventz sweetens offer in battle for MCF takeover

The Kolkata-based Adventz group, owned by Saroj Poddar, has launched yet another open offer for Mangalore Chemicals & Fertilisers in a counter to take on Pune-based rival Deepak Fertilisers.

The offer price of Rs91.92 per equity share has been calculated in accordance with the SEBI Takeover Regulations, the company said in a filing to the exchanges. The move, however, has taken corporate lawyers by surprise, as they say there has to be a minimum 6-month cooling-off period between two open offers. 

The open offers of both Deepak Fertilisers and Adventz had closed earlier in the month. As of now, Deepak Fertiliser has a close to 32-per cent stake in the company while Adventz and Vijay Mallya's UB Group together hold 38 per cent.

Experts suggest the stalemate between Deepak and Adventz is likely to end in a compromise in the near future, with one of the parties selling out its stake.

At Rs81.6 a share, the earlier revised joint open offer price of Zuari chief Saroj Poddar and Vijay Mallya turned out to be low as Deepak Fertilisers surprised the market with a price of Rs93.6 to acquire an additional stake in MCF.

Various reports by brokerage houses had earlier said Deepak's offer was the right opportunity for shareholders to exit MCF. Since the open offer was announced, the MCF stock has been hitting a fresh high, surpassing the Rs100 mark on the Bombay Stock Exchange, through the last few days the stock has lost some ground.

Mallya has resigned from the board of MCF after bankers raised objections to his presence in spite of his 'wilful defaulter' tag related to the collapse of Kingfisher Airlines. Since then, Mallya's stepmother Ritu Mallya, a lawyer by profession, has joined the board of MCF.