Religare promoter shareholding falls sharply

Promoters, including Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh, saw their combined shareholding in financial services provider Religare Enterprises Ltd come down by 2.16 percentage points due to the invocation of pledges, they said in a regulatory filing.

The filing comes in the wake of reports that the company’s board may be reconstituted to give more representation to institutional investors, putting them in the driver’s seat.

According to the filing, four promoter entities — including the two brothers, RHC Holdings and RHC Finance — lost a total of 3.856 mln shares after their pledges were invoked by their lenders. The promoters said the shares were confiscated between the period of 24 January and 1 March this year.

These shares are worth Rs 21.05 cr according to today’s price.

With this, the combined stake of these promoter entities has fallen to 3.08%.

According to the shareholding pattern filed with the exchanges at the end of December quarter, the promoters had a total of 13.06% stake in the company, including 8.04% held via RHC Finance Pvt Ltd.

However, in its filing made today, the company said RHC Finance Pvt Ltd held only 1.6% shares in the company before the current invocation of pledges and 1.02% after the current invocation.

According to the filing, the total shareholding of the four promoter entities was only around 5.24% before the current invocation of pledges.

Brothers Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, founders of pharma giant Ranbaxy Laboratories, had stepped down from the board of Religare Enterprises last month “to protect the interest of the company and stakeholders” in the wake of ongoing fraud investigations and because of the drop in shareholding.

According to the last quarterly filing, Axis Bank held an 8.9% stake in the company, IFC held 7.2%, India Horizon Fund Ltd held 10% and Resilient India Growth Fund held 9.9% in Religare Enterprises.

Those who own shares in a company can raise money by pledging the shares with a lender, such as a bank. However, if and when the money is not paid back, the lender is eligible to invoke the pledge and confiscate the shares.

Promoters must disclose the extent of pledges on their holdings. Promoters must also disclose when their shareholding in a company falls by more than 2 percentage points, as has happened in this case.