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Great Eastern ‘joins the race’ to buy Shipping Corporation

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The Great Eastern Shipping Company Ltd, India’s biggest ship owner by fleet size, is said to have filed an expression of interest (EoI) to buy state-run Shipping Corporation of India Ltd (SCI) from the government.

The Mumbai-based Great Eastern led by Bharat Sheth said it had “no comment” to offer on a query from BusinessLine on filing the EoI.

Other potential suitors
US-based Safesea Group, helmed by Indian origin shipping professional SV Anchan, is expected to file the EoI “any time” before the March 1 deadline set by the Department of Investment and Public Asset Management. Anchan, President, Safesea Group, confirmed the company’s interest in SCI.

Other potential suitors expected to file EoIs include Fairfax India Holdings Corporation led by Indian born Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa; Vedanta Ltd, the resources giant owned by billionaire Anil Agarwal; and a consortium of serving and former employees of SCI. The Adani Group, widely expected by the shipping industry to participate in the sale process, evaded a direct reply when contacted.

On December 22, DIPAM invited expressions of interest to privatise Shipping Corporation by selling the government’s 63.75 per cent stake to a strategic buyer. Potential bidders were initially given time until February 13 to file EoIs, but this was later extended to March 1.

Source BL

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