The battle for Great Offshore, country’s largest integrated offshore services firm, has finally ended with Bharati Shipyard in total control and ABS shipyard left trying to dilute its share holding in the company. Last week Bharati Shipyard informed the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) of being in total control of the management of the company and the Board of Directors.
Mr P. C. Kapoor, Managing Director of Bharati Shipyard Ltd (BSL) informed that as on date his group companies owns 49.73 per cent shares in Great Offshore and has been represented on the Board of Director of Great Offshore through three member, viz Vijay Kumar, himself (both promoters of BSL) and Chetan Mehra. Their appointment was confirmed by the shareholders on 29 April, 2010. There after last week two more representatives came on the Board of Great Offshore thus bringing the number to five representatives of BSL.
For the two shipyards involved in the construction of a large array of specialized sophisticated vessels for diverse offshore, coastal, and the marine market sectors Great Offshore, the integrated offshore oilfield services provider is considered a value fit for their operation.
Though the acquisition of the controlling stakes along with management control in Great Offshore is a big positive approach as it would not only provide additional business but also enable BSL to emerge as a vertically integrated company, Mr Kapoor however insisted on putting matters in proper light.
“Since inception of Great Offshore Ltd., we always maintained good relations with the company and with Vijay Sheth, the promoter of that company,” stated Mr. Kapoor. “Great Offshore became a target for acquisition from last May, when Mr. Sheth defaulted on $ 54.4 million loan against which he had pledged his shares in the firm to us in January last year. When he failed to repay the loan, the promoters of BSL invoked the pledge and acquired the 14.89% stake Sheth had pledged. It is our desire to continue our relationship with Great Offshore that prompted us to go in for taking control of the company. At this juncture we are thinking of increasing our equity in Great Offshore further. ”
On May 11 ABG Shipyard sold 0.8 million shares or 2.15 per cent of equity in Great Offshore for $ 82 million informed Rajat Dutta, General Manager – Corporate Finance & Corporate Affairs of Great Offshore said. This brings down ABG’s stake in Great Offshore to 7.35 per cent from 9.50 per cent. Bharati Shipyard is now in a position to steer the fortunes of the company.