Mortgaged shares’ sale reduces Satyam promoters’ holding

January 6th, 2009 - 11:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Jan 6 (IANS) The sale of mortgaged shares of Satyam promoters by Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) has further reduced their minority holding in the beleaguered IT bellwether, a company official said Tuesday.IL&FS has informed the stock exchanges late Monday that over 24,520,500 equity shares of the promoters (pledged with lenders) were sold in the secondary market between Dec 23 and Jan 5 on behalf of Bangar Agro Ltd, Amravati Greenfields Ltd, Narayandri Greenfields and Harangi Agro Farms Ltd.

The sold shares represent around 3.66 percent of Satyam’s total equity.

“The pledged shares were in the form of non-convertible debentures (NCDs) with holders/lenders - DSP Merrill Lynch Ltd, DSP Blackrock, Deutsche Bank, HDFC Mutual Fund and us,” IL&FS disclosed in the letter.

“With the sale of over 24.5 million shares by IL&FS, the promoters are left with 10,058,997 shares, which is around 1.5 percent of the total number of shares,” a Satyam official told IANS by phone from Hyderabad.

The promoters’ holding slumped to 5.13 percent (34,579,497 shares) from 8.27 percent Jan 2 after other lenders (financial institutions) sold 21,148,503 mortgaged shares in the market for an undisclosed sum.

Though the trustee company (IL&FS) gave details of the number of shares sold and on which date, it did not disclose the price at which the shares were sold or the transacted amount.

The principal promoters include Satyam founder chairman B. Ramalinga Raju, executive director B. Rama Raju and his family members.

Their shares were pledged with institutions through SRSR Holdings Ltd, a family-owned investment firm floated by the Rajus in September 2006 to leverage shares held by them in Satyam and other associated firms in which they have invested.

The promoters, however, retained 0.5 percent of their shares in their individual names, as per the company’s disclosure to the Bombay Stock Exchange in September.

Other firms include Maytas Properties and Maytas Infra that Satyam backed off from buying for $1.6 billon (Rs.79.2 billion) Dec 17 after institutional investors revolted against the controversial deal.

The beleaguered promoters admitted to the BSE Dec 29 that their minority holding in Satyam would have been diluted by institutional lenders if all the mortgaged shares were sold by the latter in the market to protect their margin calls.

Raju has also asked the management to include the dilution of the promoters’ holding in the agenda for consideration at the rescheduled board meeting Jan 10.

The Maytas’ deal fiasco also led to the exit of four independent directors from the board in succession over the last weeks.

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