Alstom GE’s open offer for Alstom India draws a blank

Alstom GE DealUS giant GE’s Rs 1,926-crore open offer to acquire 6.4 crore publicly held shares in Alstom T&D India has elicited a poor response, with just 43,439 shares getting tendered.

GE has accepted offer for 42,570 equity shares, out of 43,439 tendered by shareholders, for Rs 1.28 crore under its open offer to acquire 6.4 crore shares for Rs 1,926 crore, Alstom T&D India said in a BSE filing today.

The statement said that post offer, GE acquired 0.02 per cent of the equity, while it planned to take over 25 per cent stake through the open offer.

The offer opened on January 18, 2016 and closed on February 1, 2016. The date of payment of consideration was February 15.

The offer was made at a price of Rs 300.98 per share while the prevailing price of the scrip was over Rs 400 per unit.

Alstom T&D India shares closed at Rs 375.40 on the BSE, down 3.79 per cent from the previous close.

Earlier, the company had informed BSE that an independent directors’ committee (IDC) had said that the market price of the shares of the company on BSE and NSE was Rs 447.90 and Rs 449.10 respectively at close of trading on Friday, which was more than the offer price.

However, the panel had said that the offer price of Rs 300.98 per equity share was in accordance with Sebi SAST (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) regulations.

The IDC was headed by Kirit S Parikh and included Rakesh Nath, Chandan Roy and Bhanu Bhushan as members.

The US-based energy and healthcare giant General Electric Co (GE) had made the open offer following its $16.9 billion bid to acquire the global energy assets of French multinational Alstom.

Alstom has two listed entities in India with business interests in power generation and transportation (Alstom India) and transmission and distribution sector (Alstom T&D).

The French parent owns 68.56 per cent stake in Alstom India and 75 per cent in Alstom T&D.

GE has made open offer for buying all the publicly held shares in both the companies.

GE had also made an open offer to acquire 174.79 lakh shares representing 26 per cent stake in Alstom India Ltd for Rs 440.32 per equity share, aggregating to Rs 769.64 crore.

The unanswered question for companies such as GE and Alstom, which are hoping to gain from the rail revamp, is where all the money will come from

The superlatives are dazzling: India’s railway is the fourth-largest in the world, the oldest in Asia and carries about as many passengers daily as Australia’s population. Less impressive is the state of a congested and aging network first built under British colonial rule. Indian Railways employs 1.3 million people and carries 23 million people daily on about 65,000km of often congested track. Sometimes, trains have slowed to walking pace. The sheer scale of the modernization task is daunting.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi now wants to spend Rs.8.5 trillion through 2020 on new tracks, India’s first bullet trains and modern stations. The unanswered question for companies such as General Electric Co. and Alstom SA, which are hoping to gain from the revamp, is where all the money will come from.

A looming wage increase of Rs.32,000 crore makes the task of funding investment even tougher—the network already spends most of its revenues on operating costs. The pay revision comes once-in-a-decade for government employees.

The outlay India is targeting exceeds the annual gross domestic product (GDP) of many national economies. The railways may seek to sell land, export trains to Asia and Africa and sell advertising space while curbing costs, to cope with the wage burden and find funds for investment. Fare increases are unlikely, people familiar with the matter said last month.

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