Private sector lender IndusInd Bank on Tuesday said it has sold 4.5% and 4.18% of invoked shares of battery manufacturer Eveready Industries and tea maker McLeod Russel, respectively. Eveready and McLeod Russel are group companies of financially stressed Williamson Magor group.
After selling 32,71,608 equity shares of Eveready Industries and 55,00,000 equity shares of McLeod Russel on Monday, IndusInd Bank now holds 24,11,712 equity shares, comprising 3.32% of paid-up equity capital of the battery manufacturer, and 23,32,253 equity shares, comprising 2.23% of paid-up equity capital of tea maker, the lender said in a stock exchange filing.
Notably, the Pune-based bank on August 7 acquired 56,83,320 shares, forming 7.82% of paid-up equity share capital, of Eveready Industries and 78,32,253 equity shares, forming 7.5% of paid-up equity share capital, of McLeod Russel pursuant to the invocation of pledged shares.
IndusInd Bank said the shares of Eveready Industries and McLeodRussel held by Williamson Magor and Co were pledged with the bank for securing the outstanding dues of Seajuli Developers & Finance (Seajuli), the borrower company. The bank invoked the pledged shares for recovery of its dues from Seajuli.
The Burman family, which is the promoters of Dabur, is currently the single largest shareholder of Eveready Industries as promoters’ shareholding falls below 10% in the company. The Khaitans are the promoters of Eveready and McLeod.
In the last month, the Burman family had acquired around 8.48% additional equity stake in Eveready from open market operations, taking its holding in the company to 19.84%.
Commenting on the share purchase, Mohit Burman, vice chairman, Dabur India, had said, “This is a portfolio investment by the Burman family. It’s a personal investment and is not connected with Dabur India Ltd.”
Interestingly, if the 4.5% shares of Eveready Industries, sold by IndusInd Bank, go to the Burman family, then their holding in the battery maker could nearly touch the open offer level.
“We are ready to evaluate purchase for any additional shares including from the IndusInd Bank. But, our headroom is about four per cent. We will keep our holding below 25%,” Burman reportedly said on Sunday. He also indicated that the family did not have plans for any hostile management takeover bid.
On Tuesday, Eveready’s scrip fell 0.40% to end the day at Rs 148.70 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while IndusInd Bank’s scrip rose 2.45% at Rs 521.85.