BUSINESS

No decision yet on L&T demerger

MUMBAI, DEC. 7. Larsen & Toubro (L&T) board today discussed the proposal for the demerger of its cement business but failed to arrive at a decision on the issue.

``The report of the committee of directors was tabled in the meeting and the same was discussed.

However, no decision has been taken'', financial institutional sources said here after an hour long meeting.

It would be discussed again in the next board meeting, the date for which would be decided next week, they said.

The board shortlised the UK-based Commonwealth Development Corporation's (CDC) offer, which was willing to pick up more than 6 per cent stake in the demerged entity, sources added. Grasim Industries at present holds just over 15 per cent in the cement and engineering major while Life Insurance Corporation has recently raised its holding to 18.4 per cent and has the option to go up to 20 per cent. Apart from FIs, the meeting was also attended by Aditya Birla group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla and his mother. During last month's proceedings at Securities Appellate Tribunal over the open offer issue, Grasim had said that it was kept unaware about L&T's plans to restructure and demerge its cement business along with a proposal by CDC.

Birla had in a letter also expressed displeasure over L&T management's action of presenting the restructuring proposal with CDC at a short notice just before the close of the board meeting held on October 29.

PTI

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