Gujarat Heavy Chemicals shareholders gather against promoters

May 7th, 2009 - 6:46 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 7 (IANS) Minority shareholders of soda ash manufacturer Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Ltd (GHCL) Thursday said they would form a forum to protect their interests and “avoid being cheated by the promoters”.
GHCL has been mired in a controversy after a Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) order barred chairman Sanjay Dalmia, managing director Ravi Shanker Jalan and company secretary Bhuwneshwar Mishra from trading in equities markets, saying the company had inflated its shareholding in its quarterly filings.

The company’s minority shareholders have since accused the promoters and top management of indulging in “dubious” overseas acquisitions and “cooking the books”.

“The recent SEBI findings have shocked us and we are not only worried about the future of our investments but also about the fate of the company and its employees,” said GHCL Forum head Ashish Begwani.

The GHCL Forum will represent the interests of the minority shareholders and retail investors of the company in front of the GHCL promoters and the management, the group said.

Among concerns raised by the minority shareholders are a multi-layer route to acquire overseas ventures and non-disclosure of acquired companies going bankrupt.

“We would request the ministry of corporate affairs’ Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) to look into the company’s business immediately,” Begwani added.

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