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Bharati Shipyard takes on ABG for Great Offshore stake

Mumbai: Leading Indian Shipbuilder Bharati Shipyard is looking to top a counter bid by rival ABG Shipyard Limited for a controlling stake in offshore services firm Great Offshore, raising prospects of a price war, reports news site Zeenews. PC Kapoor MD of Bharati Shipyard said "We will be making another revised offer, the timing will be a few days hence and what the price will be I cannot say right now."

Kapoor said Bharati has invested Rs 2.45bn till now to acquire about 19.5% in Great Offshore, while ABG Shipyard holds a mere 2%. However, he hinted that total investment in Great Offshore could top Rs 4bn and added that Bharati has substantial support from some major shareholders of Great Offshore, including the Sheth family, the original founders of the company.

ABG Shipyard made an open offer to acquire over 32% in Great Offshore at Rs 375 a share, countering Bharati's Rs 344 a share bid made earlier this month.

Analysts said that for both ship builders, the acquisition will take them one step further with the offshore services business and turn the buyer into an integrated shipping firm, though a price war may erode benefits of the acquisition. However analysts feel Bharati Shipyard, which is servicing orders from Great Offshore worth Rs 3-3.5bn was better placed to acquire a controlling stake in the latter.  [26/06/09]

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