The much-awaited initial public offer of Coal India Ltd (CIL) may get shifted to end-October against an earlier plan of hitting the capital markets by September.

Sources connected with the development said this re-think was becoming necessary due to the fact that the ‘pitri paksh', that is the fortnight preceding Navaratri, is considered an inauspicious period across a large cross-section of investors in India, especially so in Maharashtra and Gujarat from where CIL is hoping to mop up a substantial portion of its issue proceeds.

It is now being felt that end-October, may be a more opportune time especially with Diwali falling this year on November 5. The thinking is that “with Diwali bonuses and festivities lighting up moods, investment decisions can be made easily around this time.” For overseas investors too this would be the right time.

The syndicate of six book running lead managers (BRLMs) are now working overtime to complete the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) and are in regular touch with the coal-producing subsidiaries of CIL. They are targeting to submit the DHRP by end-July to the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

Adfactors Agency has been selected to handle the publicity regarding the issue, which is being projected as the largest in the country.

Alongside, CIL has roped in National Securities Depository Ltd. (NSDL), Stock Holding Corporation of India Ltd (SHCIL) and Central Depository Services (India) Ltd. (CDSL) to help the employees open demat accounts. The IPO has reserved an allocation of one per cent for the 3.99 lakh employees of CIL and its subsidiaries.

The demat account is proving to be a bit of daunting task as it now requires substantial amount of documentation and signatures.

“Explaining the concept to the employees in some of the remote areas where the CIL mines are located is itself a time-consuming exercise,” an NSDL official told The Hindu. Rescheduling the issue would address this problem too.

Estimated to raise between Rs. 12,000 crore and Rs. 16,000 crore, CIL's IPO is seen as a big-ticket disinvestment under the government's plan to raise Rs. 40,000 crore through divestment of PSUs in the current fiscal.