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Govt looks to raise ₹4,374 crore from 20% sale of stake in IRCTC


The government will be selling as much as 20% stake in the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Limited (IRCTC) through an offer of sale on Thursday and Friday. “Offer for Sale in IRCTC opens tomorrow for Non Retail investors. Day2 for retail investors. Govt. would divest 15% equity with a 5% green shoe option,” announced the Secretary, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) on Twitter.

The government is looking to sell up to 2,40,00,000 shares, which accounts for 15% of the stake, according to a regulatory filing. Another 80,00,000 shares will also be up for grabs, accounting for 5%. The floor price of each share has been set at ₹1,367. In total, calculated at floor price, the sale can potentially net the company ₹4,374 crore.

The Central and state governments own 87.4% of IRCTC, according to the company’s shareholding information released for the quarter ending September 2020. The plan to reduce its stake was announced in August this year, as part of its efforts to raise ₹2.1 trillion from disinvestment during the ongoing financial year. According to the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) policy on minimum public shareholding (MPS) — wherein at least 25% of the stake should be held by non-promoters — the government has to reduce its stake to 75%.

The IRCTC, which is the only entity authorised to sell train tickets in the country, has been struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company experienced an 83% drop of year-on-year revenue during the quarter ending September. It’s revenue from internet ticketing had dropped by 50% year-on-year.

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