IFCI again in search of strategic partner

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New Delhi, Jul 14 (UNI) After an aborted attempt, Industrial Finance Corporation of India (IFCI) today said it was in search of a strategic partner more for reasons of inducting management expertise than enlarging its capital base.

''The strategic investors will help deepen our expertise,'' IFCI CEO Atul Kumar Rai told a newsconference here.

Mr Rai said with a capital adequacy ratio of 19 per cent, raising money was neither an imperative nor a problem.

''We are committed to looking at all possibilities to ensure IFCI reaches sustainable pattern of growth. The strategic investors would play the role of an angel investor to help the company deepen its competency,'' Mr Rai said.

The CEO said money would be raised through private placement or preference shares, either by the end of this fiscal or early next year.

The oldest financial institution and one which is involved in project financing ran into rough weather some years ago because of excessive lending to sectors which were sunset industries as well as wrong promoters.

It began considering a stake sale in 2006, but in December 2007 rejected the offer of a consortium comprising Morgan Stanley and Sterlite Industries for a 26 per cent stake.

Mr Rai, however, said the search for a new partner would be different from the earlier attempt.

Those parts of the capital structure, which was impacting the company adversely, would be changed.

Meanwhile, the IFCI announced a net profit of Rs 151.07 crore for the first quarter ended June 30 as compared to Rs 246.86 crore in the same period last year.

This is a stupendous decline of nearly 39 per cent, which saw its reflection in the stock exchanges.

The shares of IFCI closed five per cent lower on the Bombay Stock Exchange today.

UNI MP/GS SR HS1800

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