HLL Life to go on the block soon as disinvestment gathers pace

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HLL Life to go on the block soon as disinvestment gathers paceNew Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) Speeding up the sale process of public sector HLL Life Care, the producer of ‘MOODS brand of condoms and ‘HAPPY DAYS’ sanitary pads, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has directed the health ministry to prepare the contours of transaction.

It has directed the parent ministry to follow up the Corporate Affairs Department for early approval of demerging two of its subsidiaries HLL Biotech Ltd (HBL) and HLL Medipark Ltd (HML).

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The state-controlled pharma firm had earlier this year decided to demerge two of its subsidiaries before government offloads its entire 100 per cent equity stake in the company. The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) had cleared the stake sale plan in November, 2017after hiving off the vaccine venture and Medipark as separate special purpose vehicles (SPVs).

Sources said that a meeting was held in the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) on August 28 to firm up the contours of the strategic disinvestment keeping in view the ongoing schemes of the Health Ministry.

“Ministry of Health had been asked to provide information about various verticals of HLL Life Care and their business so that transaction advisor could firm up expression of interest (EoI),” said an official.

With the government far behind its target to raise funds through disinvestment, it is expected to speed up all PSU stake sale in the remaining six months of the fiscal. As part of the move, the PMO has asked Shipping Ministry to expeditiously appoint asset valuer for Kamarajar Port Ltd in which government holds 66.67 per cent stake and Chennai Port Trust the remaining 33.33 per cent.

In case of Kamarajar Port, Chennai Port Trust would acquire government holding as decided by the CCEA in February this year.

As per financial result for 2018-19, Kamarajar Port has a networth of Rs 2221.01 crore. It had reported a profit after tax (PAT) of Rs 340.35 crore on the turnover of Rs 707.98 crore.

The government has lined up almost two dozen PSUs for stake sale and asked concerned ministry to clear the way for disinvestment. The PMO directive has come in the wake of rather slow pace of disinvestment with government so far managing to raise only Rs 12,357 crore as against the total disinvestment target of Rs 1,05,000 crore in FY20.

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