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Posted: Tuesday, June 30 2009. 12:35

Indage to Dilute Stockholding

Indage Vintners is undergoing stock dilution through the conversion of preferential warrants by four investors who will now hold a stake of 40.28% shares in the beleaguered company according to the information supplied to the Bombay Stock Exchange last week.

Anam Transport Pvt. Ltd, Sanjivani Horticulture Pvt. Ltd, Arsh Advisors and Owners Ltd and Asian Sirius Energy Ltd will convert their 10.3 million preferential warrants into equity shares at Rs 88 a share for a total of  Rs 906 million in the Mumbai based leading wine producer.

IVL will use the money raised from the investors to reduce debt, fund existing operations, meet long-term working capital requirements and other corporate purposes, it said. The IVL board has also decided to raise another Rs 1.1 billion by selling shares to qualified institutional buyers.

After the conversion of warrants into equity by the four investors, the promoters’ stake in IVL will decline to 15.88% and public shareholding to 17.82% from 29.84%, says a report in Live Mint.

A senior company executive said none of these four investor firms belonged to the promoter group.

On 10 June, the IVL board had reportedly approved a proposal to raise Rs 2 billion by issuing shares, convertible share warrants and debentures to investors and through placements with financial institutions.

The IVL share has dropped from the recent high of Rs. 115 to Rs.78 this morning.  Its 12 month hi-lo has been Rs. 485-39.

According to the company’s filings with the stock exchange, the promoters had pledged a 26.71% stake, out of the 28.08% they owned, to borrow money. DelWine has been reporting earlier that the company had heavily pledged their shares to borrow against the shares but at that time the company was not obliged to divulge the exact numbers.

The Indian wine producers are facing tough times as competition has increased from both foreign and domestic companies, besides the ongoing recession. Indage has been in the eye of the financial storm primarily due to a few major acquisitions overseas gone sour. In the domestic market, the quality producers have been increasing their market share while the company has been busy squeezing the last drops of juice out of the Rivera brand it popularized during the last 20 years. Touted as a premium brand, made from the inexpensive eating grapes, in the a shade of wine grapes, the market assesses it now as a low end table wine with the result that it had to give various ‘deals’ to the distributors, resulting in the cash cow turning dry.

While the company could be an easy takeover target with the bulk of the promoter’s stake having been pledged, the management is maintaining a brave front. It could not be ascertained the ownership of the four investors but it is quite apparent that a takeover might well be in the offing. The investing companies could also be some competitors.

       

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