SCI disinvestment: SCI opens Virtual Data Room (VDR) for bidders

  • VDR access is an important step in the SCI disinvestment process
  • The VDR access will give bidders access to detailed financial information about SCI necessary for making a financial bid

New Delhi: Disinvestment-bound Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) has opened its Virtual Data Room (VDR) for bidders on Monday, the PSU said in a regulatory filing to the stock exchanges. “We wish to inform you that in terms of the advice received from our Transaction Advisors, RBSA Advisors, SCI has opened the Virtual Data Room (VDR) today for the bidders,” said the filing. VDR access is an important step in the SCI disinvestment process. The Centre is selling its 63.75 percent stake in SCI, along with management control. The successful bidder will also have to make an open offer for acquiring an additional 26 percent held by public shareholders.

What does Virtual Data Room (VDR) access give bidders?

The VDR access will give bidders access to detailed financial information about SCI and will allow them to scrutinise the shipping PSU’s financial liabilities, contracts and other material necessary for making a financial bid. Three bidders — US-based Safesea, Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and a consortium led by NRI businessman and former SCI employee Ravi Mehrotra — have been shortlisted to bid for the shipping PSU.


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The backdrop

The government had floated a preliminary information memorandum (PIM) on December 22, 2020 and had invited global bids for the disinvestment of its stake in the shipping PSU. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had given an in-principle approval for the strategic divestment of Shipping Corporation in November 2019. However, the process got delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

SCI is India’s largest shipping company with 59 vessels under its wing. Its owned fleet includes bulk carriers, crude oil tankers, product tankers, container vessels, passenger-cum-cargo vessels, phosphoric acid/chemical carriers, LPG/ammonia carriers and offshore supply vessels. As the country’s premier shipping line, the SCI owns and operates around one-third of the Indian tonnage, and has operating interests in practically all areas of the shipping business, servicing both national and international trades. SCI is the only Indian shipping company operating break-bulk services, international container services, liquid/dry bulk services, offshore services, passenger services.

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