I had better offer to exit: Pyramid Saimira promoter

December 24th, 2008 - 7:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Dec 24 (IANS) To emphasise that he has no wish to leave the company he heads, Pyramid Saimira Theatre chairman P.S. Saminathan Wednesday said he had a more “attractive offer” for his holding even before receiving a fake directive to sell out.Referring to the forged letter on the letterhead of the market regulator that advised him to make an open offer at Rs.250 per share, Saminathan also said it was part of a hostile takeover strategy.

The letter was purportedly sent by watchdog Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (Sebi’s) corporate finance department.

“I was offered Rs.450 per share a couple of months ago, which I refused,” Saminathan said to stress the point that he has no intention of offloading. He, however, declined to identify who made the offer.

The basis of the forged letter revolves around Saminathan’s decision to acquire 23 percent stake in Pyramid Saimira from then company director Nirmal Kotecha as inter-se transfer at Rs.200 per share in October 2008.

Kotecha, who was termed a promoter, quit his directorship in November.

With the market going down, Saminathan Dec 1 informed the bourses that the terms of share purchase had to be altered.

Saminathan was to exercise the purchase option on or before Dec 22 - the day he received the faked letter.

“The share purchase deal has to be completely revisited now,” he said.

Conceding that Kotecha is now free to sell to anybody, Saminathan said: “At a time when even friendly takeover is considered unwise, a hostile takeover attempt will be difficult to execute.”

Saminathan said he did not consider the forged letter as a means to wriggle out of his commitment to acquire Kotecha’s holding, but added: “Looking at it differently, it is a blessing in disguise. We now have a documentary proof about the murky happenings in the stock market.”

Elaborating, he said: “There is a clear distinction between exploiting a sticky situation in which a competitor finds himself, and creating a sticky situation for a competitor.”

Meanwhile, the foreign currency convertible bond (FCCB) holders of Pyramid Saimira have agreed for the revised conversion price of Rs.246.50 from Rs.454.

The company had raised $90 million last year through FCCB at 1.75 percent interest rate, which will mature in 2012.

“We expect around 25 percent of the bondholders to convert,” Saminathan said.

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