Dredging Corp staff keen to buy out govt stake

The employees of Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) are planning to make a joint bid to buy out the government's stake in the company that is up for privatisation, a company official has said.

''We are thinking on those lines,'' a BusinessLine report quoted B Hanuma Naik, joint general manager (technical) and president of DCI Officers Association, as saying. He did not, however, elaborate on funding the management buy-out.

At the current share price of Rs684.5 per share (at close of business on the BSE on Wednesday), DCI is valued at about Rs1,800 crore.

The buyer will have to make an open offer and spend an additional Rs1,000 crore to bring the dredgers back to working condition.

The CCEA approved strategic disinvestment of the government's stake in DCI in 2017, which is currently 73.47 per cent of the total paid-up equity, through strategic sale along with transfer of management control.

DCI, a listed, profit-making entity, has 19 dredgers and ancillary crafts with 474 full-time employees, 1,035 contract workers and 332 trainees.

The divestment process has a mechanism by which workers' interests are taken care of. Besides, there is assured employment for a specified number of years. The employees are also not retrenched.