The government has extended the deadline for merchant bankers to bid for managing IRCTC stake sale by 4 days till September 14. The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) has initiated the process to sell 15-20 per cent stake in Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp (IRCTC) via offer for sale (OFS) and had last month invited bids from merchant bankers by September 10.
The last date of submission of bids has been extended till September 14, the DIPAM, which manages the government share sale, said. The government currently holds 87.40 per cent stake in IRCTC. To meet Sebi's public holding norm, the government has to lower its stake in the company to 75 per cent.
Shares of IRCTC closed at Rs 1,374.35 apiece, up 0.27 per cent over the previous close on BSE. IRCTC – the only entity authorised by Indian Railways to provide catering services to railways, online railway tickets and packaged drinking water at railway stations and trains in India – had listed itself on the stock exchanges in October 2019. The company had raised Rs 645 crore through the IPO.
IRCTC OFS would help the government inch forward in meeting the Rs 2.10 lakh crore disinvestment target. Of this, Rs 1.20 lakh crore will come from disinvestment of public sector undertakings and another Rs 90,000 crore from stake sale in financial institutions. The government has already concluded the OFS of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) and Bharat Dynamics Ltd (BDL), which together has fetched around Rs 5,000 crore to the exchequer.
The government is also looking at launching initial public offering (IPO) of Indian Railway Finance Corp Ltd (IRFC) and had in January filed draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) for IPO of over 140 crore equity shares. The Union Cabinet had in April 2017 approved listing of five railway companies. While four of them — IRCON International Ltd, RITES Ltd, Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd and IRCTC — have already been listed, IRFC is likely to be put on the block this fiscal.