HYDERABAD: In a sensational development, beleaguered infrastructure firm Maytas Infra, which was earlier promoted by disgraced Satyam founder B Ramalinga Raju’s elder son Teja Raju, announced on Saturday that it was roping in global construction conglomerate – the Saudi Bin Ladin group – as a co-promoter.
Maytas’ new owners IL&FS, who took over in September 2009, will now pave the way for the Saudi BinLadin group to pick up a 20% stake in Maytas through a preferential allotment of 1,54,59,133 equity shares to its Mauritius-based arm SBG Projects Investments Ltd, Maytas informed the bourses on Saturday.
The decision was taken on Saturday by the Maytas Infra board, which is learnt to have met in Saudi Arabia, where IL&FS and Maytas Infra top brass have been closeted over the past few days to hammer out the deal.
The Saudi BinLadin group, which was founded in 1931 by late Sheikh Mohammed BinLadin — father of the world’s most wanted terrorist and Al Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden (who has since been disowned by the BinLadin family), will along with IL&FS have to make an open offer after the preferential allotment.
Though the company did not disclose the price at which the deal was struck, the preferential allotment will have to be made at a price of over Rs 196.25 per share, which was the last two week’s weekly high and low average of the company’s share price as per SEBI norms.
The deal will dilute IL&FS’ stakeholding in Maytas to around 29.30% from the existing 37.01%. Incidentally, the Raju family still holds around 23% stake in the company. Of this, 20.37% is locked in as per Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) IPO norms.
Though IL&FS and Maytas Infra top guns have been tight-lipped about the deal in the run-up to the announcement, markets had a got a whiff of it as early as Wednesday when buzz that about the company being in talks with a potential Middle-East investor sent the company’s scrip soaring 10% on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) to hit a 52-week high of Rs 215.15 a share.
The scrip went on to scale another 52-week high of Rs 221.20 on Thursday. Nearly 1.2 crore shares of the company were traded on the BSE on these two days alone.
Ever since Ramalinga Raju confessed to cooking the company’s books in early January 2009, Maytas Infra’s operations had come to a grinding halt after banks froze the company’s accounts and the company lost several projects including the prestigious Rs 12,132 crore Hyderabad Metro Rail project.
Even a government-nominated board could not bail the company out, with the result that Maytas posted whopping losses of over Rs 490 crore for fiscal 2008-09. The company is yet to declare its audited results for fiscal 2009-10.
IL&FS took over the company in September 2009, following a Company Law Board order dated August 31, 2009, that requires IL&FS to hold a minimum 26% stake till September 2011. Since then, IL&FS has been trying to infuse liquidity into Maytas and is learnt to have successfully renegotiated a Rs 1400 crore corporate debt restructuring (CDR) package with the consortium of lenders led by IDBI and comprising SBI and ICICI.
Maytas’ new owners have also hammered out one-time settlement deals with nearly seven banks including HDFC Bank, HSBC, BNP Paribas, IndusInd Bank, that require it to repay only 50% of Maytas’ loans outstanding as of January 9, 2009