With the government proposing to divest a part of its stake in Coal India Ltd (CIL), the navratna public sector unit has begun going about its preparatory task in a quiet manner and is planning to hold informal roadshows in the U.S., this week, ahead of its market offer.

Sources confirmed that CIL Chairman P. S. Bhattacharyya is reaching New York this week and will make a presentation before some ‘Funds’ there. Some merchant bankers and a U.S.-based financial journal is also involved in this exercise, it was learnt.

A senior official of the Union Coal Ministry is accompanying CIL Chairman. The officials will also participate in a summit on the ‘Indian energy scenario’ to be held right after.

This exercise is dovetailed with an Indo-U.S. Working Group meeting which begins on September 23. The team will also meet prospective joint venture partners, who had responded to the expressions of interest (EoIs) that CIL had floated in July with the objective of striking overseas mining partnerships.

While CIL officials were unwilling to talk about the initial public offer (IPO) plans, getting listed by 2011 is one of the conditions that the company will have to fulfil as part of its navratna commitments, sources said.

“It is important that CIL gets at least two quarters of increased prices of coal,” sources said.

The absence of a remunerative price coupled with the impact of the increase in wage costs on account of a pay revision for officers and workers has severely dented CIL’s bottomline and may even impact its issue-pricing if it does not show an improved bottomline this fiscal.

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