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Centre plans further stake sale in IRCTC via offer for sale

The Central government is planning to sell part of its shares in the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC) through an offer for sale (OFS).

In a Request for Proposal, the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has invited proposals from merchant bankers registered with SEBI, by September 10, for managing the sale process.

"The GoI intends to disinvest a part of the paid up equity capital of IRCTC out of its shareholding through 'Offer for Sale' (OFS) method of shares by promoters through the stock exchanges as per Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Rules and Regulations," the tender document issued said.

It further said that the government is also considering allotting shares to eligible and willing employees of the IRCTC at a discount to the issue or discovered price — lowest cut off price — up to a maximum of certain percentage of the OFS size, subsequent to completion of the transaction under OFS. The percentage and extent shall be decided in due course, said the document.

The merchant banker will be required to undertake tasks related to all aspects of the OFS, including advising the government on the timing and the modalities of the OFS. It will also prepare the notice to be filed with the stock exchange and complete all stipulated requirements and formalities of regulatory and statutory authorities.

"Proposals under the guidelines are invited from reputed Category – I Merchant Bankers registered as such with SEBI and having valid license as stock broker in their name or in the name of their associate; either singly or as a consortium; with experience and expertise in public offerings in the capital; to act as Merchant Banker and to assist and advise the Government in the process," it said.

The broking license is required to be valid till the completion of all activities relating to the OFS. Additionally, the Merchant Banker(s) or their associates would be required to act as "Selling Broker" for the proposed OFS.

Bidders should have handled and completed at least one domestic equity issue — Initial Public Offering or Further Public Offering or OFS — of the size of Rs 1,000 crore or more during the period from April 1, 2017 to June 30, 2020.

The authorised capital of the company is Rs 250 crore and paid up capital is Rs 160 crore. As on date, the Ministry of Railways holds 87.40 per cent of the paid-up share capital of the company amounting to over 13.98 crore shares.

At 2.27 p.m., IRCTC shares on the BSE were trading at Rs 1,351.65, higher by Rs 5 or 0.37 per cent from the previous close.