GE Shipping puts demerger plans on hold

Mumbai: Great Eastern Shipping Company Ltd (GE Shipping) has decided not to proceed with the plan to demerge its offshore operations following a review of the status of approvals from its business associates and partners, the company informed the Bombay Stock Exchange.

"The board of directors of the company, at its meeting held on August 2 2006, has reviewed the status of various approvals from contracting counter-parties to material contracts which were received pursuant to the sanction of the scheme of arrangement by the Hon'ble High Court of Bombay", the company said in the statement.

"The board, after due deliberations, unanimously concluded that it was not possible to proceed with the scheme of demerger of the offshore services business into a separate company, Great Offshore Ltd, as all the conditions for arriving at the effective date of the scheme were not fulfilled within the stipulated time of six months from the date of the Bombay High Court order approving the scheme. In terms of Clause 35 of the scheme, the arrangement had automatically lapsed," the company said.

GE Shipping said it is studying alternatives in the long-term interest of the shareholders. "The board will examine new possibilities, in due course, for restructuring its business in a manner which will achieve maximisation of value accretion to the shareholders, and if necessary, approach them," the notice added.

"On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to put on record the immense support and concurrence received from all the contracting counter parties both in the government as well as in the private sector, especially ONGC, which has been of immense value to us and highly supportive to the business restructuring. I would also like to personally thank the shareholders, creditors and the lenders for their support during the whole demerger process," said KM Sheth, executive chairman of the company.