Zuari Fertilisers promoter Saroj Poddar on Thursday said he will sell his 16% stake in the Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers (MCF) if a joint venture with the firm’s promoter UB Group does not materialise.
Poddar’s statement comes two days after UB Group chairman Vijay Mallya had said that he was ready to buy stakes from Zuari and Deepak Fertilisers in MCF. In UB Group’s MCF, Zuari currently has 16.43% stake while Pune-based Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals has about 24.46%.
“Mallya has said that he is keen to buy shares in MCF held by Zuari Fertilisers. If Mallya is keen to buy shares, I am more than willing to sell my shares,” Poddar said when asked about his comment on Mallya’s offer.
“As a business professional, Mallya has every right to take a decision. I will respect his decision. If he is willing to go for joint venture, I am ready. If he does not, I am okay with it. And if the JV does not happen, I will sell MCF shares to the highest bidder as I will have to protect my shareholders’ interest. I hope this will happen soon,” Poddar told reporters on the sidelines of an event at Mumbai on Thursday.
Poddar said that Zuari had bought shares of MCF in consultation with Mallya with an idea of floating joint venture between the two companies.
“I have bought shares of MCF in consultation with Mallya. And this was based on an idea of floating joint venture with Zuari. It was very clear. I also have first right of refusal of MCF shares with UB Group,” Poddar said. Shares of MCF on Thursday closed at R52.30, up 1.65%. At current price, Zuari’s stake in MCFL is worth R102 crore.