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Pipavav Shipyard seeks new investor

Pipavav Shipyard seeks new investor

Mumbai: Nikhil Gandhi, chairman of Pipavav Shipyard is on a lookout for a strategic investor following Punj Lloyd's decision to withdraw from the joint venture arrangement.

Gandhi said he is open to giving at least 26% stake, or the investor can match the 40% stake SKIL holds in Pipavav, writes DNA. Originally, SKIL Infrastructure held 20.1% in Pipavav and Punj Lloyd held 19.4%. After the sale by Punj Lloyd, SKIL stake in Pipavav is 39.6%.

Gandhi said this 40% stake is likely to go up to 51% post the open offer. Earlier this month, SKIL had made an open offer to shareholders of Pipavav for an additional 20% in the latter for a price at Rs 61.50 per share. The offer closed on June 26.

He said, "We are constantly looking at new opportunities and challenges and at this point of time a strategic investor can add value to our existing business and can create better visibility and value for the existing stakeholders. I will be very happy and open about it. We are very flexible about such opportunities."

"We are looking at a strategic investor from two areas-- warship building and oil & gas sector. It could be both a domestic or an international player, but definitely a big name," Gandhi said. "Earlier there was a fear of a hostile takeover, I could get that sense from the market, but then Punj Lloyd exit happened. They were ready to sell and we were ready to buy, this helped us up our stake and we would want to maintain that."

"As of now, we have orders for 34 vessels including the 12 offshore supply vessels from ONGC. No buyers have asked for price reduction," Gandhi said.

Orders for 8 ships were under renegotiation and 4 were under arbitrage. Last month, one of its clients--Golden Ocean Group--reduced a six-ship confirmed order to a four-ship confirmed and two optional buys.  [30/06/10]