Pilani resumes trading, putting a number to Lodha’s holding

On 25 October 2011, trading in the shares of Pilani Investment and Industries Corp. Ltd restarted on the National Stock Exchange (NSE). The MP Birla Group’s “25%-plus stake” in the firm is currently valued at upwards of Rs 450 crore. At Tuesday’s closing price of Rs 2,295 per share, Pilani’s market capitalization was Rs 1,815 crore.
The current market price of Pilani’s shares is comparable with what it has been fetching on the street lately. According to Mumbai-based trader in illiquid shares, Narottam Dharawat, Pilani’s shares typically rose to Rs 2,300-2,400 in off-market deals fuelled by speculation of trading restarting on NSE or the Bombay Stock Exchange. “When the speculation died down, the stock would slip to Rs 1,800 or thereabouts,” said Narottam Dharawat.
Pilani is the principal holding company of the Birla family. It has investments worth some Rs 650 crore at book value, or initial cost, mostly in shares of B.K. Birla and A.V. Birla Group companies such as Century Textiles and Industries Ltd, Hindalco Industries Ltd and Grasim Industries Ltd.
B.K. Birla currently owns 57.56% of Pilani’s shares, according to the firm’s latest annual report. Combined with the holding of close “family friends”, his stake is at least 60%, according to his aide cited above. Public holding in the firm is estimated at a little over 10%.
Pilani’s shares were last traded on the Delhi Stock Exchange (DSE). NSE pegged the stock’s previous close at Rs 780, the last recorded price on DSE.

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