Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Second Tryst With Destiny

The four executives alighted from their respective executive cars and were immediately escorted to the posh private lounge room upstairs. The room at the Taj Hotel, Mumbai was the exclusive preserve of the rich and the mighty. And these aliases were frequently synonymous with their names. In a true optimistic sense.

Tonight would define the pecking order. Their might to take on the world. Their efforts to catapult India Inc to a new threshold level.

Sir Ratan Tata (I would prefer to call him "Sir" right now before it is bestowed), B. Muthuraman - managing director of Tata Steel, N.A. Soonawala - Tata Sons vice-chairman and Koushik Chatterjee - vice president of finance, Tata Steel began to set themselves up for the biggest challenge in their lives. The video link was tuned and they were immediately in sync with their warriors in Primrose Street, London comprising Arun Gandhi - head of Tata Group's Mergers and Acquistions, Richard Murley - N M Rothschild & Sons, Jitesh Gadhia - ABN Amro, the Deutsche Bank and the Credit Suisse team. The room was brimming with excitement coupled with pangs of nervousness. A long long night loomed large.

Project Colour began soon and it became the cynosure of the media's attention. Tata's bid for Corus had begun. The markets were agog with bets on whether it would be the favorite Cardiff (CSN) to clinch it or the underdog Truro (Tata Steel)

The slugfest continued till the wee hours of the morning in India. The bell rang at the UK Takeover Panel’s office at Paternoster Square for the final 9th round to begin.

The tension was palpable in the rooms on either side of the teleconferencing session. Amidst the final negotiations, a sealed bid was decided and with the click of a mouse, it was sent over to the Panel.

Half an hour later, India woke up to salute its son take on the world. The scoreline: 608 pence a share to CSN's 603. The cost: a mindboggling 12.1 billion dollars. A former colonial steel company had gobbled its earlier imperial master's prized possession.

A humble bow to Sir Ratan Tata and his team. India is with you.



Blogger The Individualist said...

*vows to get better in finance and economics.

1:09 PM  

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