NEW DELHI -- The Indian government expects to float the much delayed initial public share offering of the country's largest carmaker, Maruti, a unit of Japan's Suzuki Motor, by June, the disinvestment minister said on Thursday.
The government plans to sell 25 percent or 3.6 million shares of Maruti Udyog Ltd through a public offering that was first expected to be completed in March and later postoned to April-May because of the time taken to finalize the prospectus.
"The work is going on... I expect that in June or so we will be going to the market with those shares and that will be a boost to the primary issues sector," Arun Shourie told lawmakers in parliament.
New Delhi-based Maruti, in which the government owns a 45.54 percent stake and Japan's Suzuki Motor Corp. 54.2 percent, has more than half the share of the domestic car market with its small and low-priced cars.
The government hopes to raise between 7.0 billion rupees ($147 million) and 8.0 billion rupees through the sale of shares.
The proposed sale is a part of the India's privatization drive that aims to collect $2.5 billion through stake sales in the year to March 2003.
The government has already said that privatization proceeds in the current year will fall way short of the target because of differences between lawmakers over the proposed sale of two cash rich oil firms and an aluminum company.
Shourie said the government had received several bids from state-run and private firms for a 51 percent strategic stake in Engineers India Ltd., which provides project services to petroleum companies.
State-run firms Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd., Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. and GAIL India Ltd. and private construction giant Larsen & Toubro Ltd. were among the bidders for EIL, Shourie said.