Trade unions express their disappointment at the seriousness

The Inter-Ministerial Group on Disinvestment will open the financial bids after technical evaluation of the offers presented by the merchant banker/bankers on offloading 10 per cent of government's equity in Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited.

At the presentations made in New Delhi on Friday, Deutsche Bank, IDFC Capital, UBS Securities, Edelweiss Capital and IDBI Capital explained about their bids. “We are representing to the merchant bankers to back out from the race for managing the IPO of RINL,” Visakha Steel Workers' Union president D. Adinarayana told The Hindu on Saturday.

The banker/consortium chosen as Book Running Lead Manager (BRLM) will hold roadshows to showcase RINL – the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant -- before the prospective investors.

RINL as on March 31, 2011 has 17,829 employees with a paid-up capital of Rs.7,822 crore and paid-up equity capital of Rs.4,889 crore. As per the conditions laid down for engagement of BRLM with an IPO, the merchant banker has to finalise the timing, structure the IPO, conduct due diligence study and draft Red Herring Prospectus.

The banker as part of the agreement to be signed with it will study different aspects of capital restructuring exercise of RINL and suggest various options. Part of public offering is reserved to employees. Price discount on issue price will be given to retail investors and eligible employees.

Trade unions functioning in VSP are now on the warpath and expressed their disappointment at the seriousness with which the Centre was pursuing the disinvestment agenda. They have hit the streets as the fear of privatisation is haunting them. The unions find no ground in government argument saying the company has invested Rs.10,000 crore on expansion so far with any support, paid dividend of Rs.1,000 crore to the Centre, picked up Rs.360-crore equity in Bird Group and contributed over Rs.21,000 crore in the form of taxes to the Central and State Governments since its inception.