Regulator to probe Pyramid Saimira mystery (Lead)

December 23rd, 2008 - 8:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Dec 23 (IANS) The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) will investigate the origin of the ‘issue open offer’ advisory, dated Dec 19, sent under its letterhead to Pyramid Saimira Theatre, the market regulator said Tuesday. It also categorically stated that it has not issued any letter to Pyramid Saimira chairman P.S. Saminathan, asking him to make an open offer for acquisition of the company shares at a price not less than Rs.250 per share.

“It appears that the said letter is being circulated with ulterior motives,” Sebi has said.

The regulator will also inquire into the dealing in the scrip and the alleged violation of regulations.

According to a Pyramid Saimira official, the company will lodge a criminal complaint with the city police to investigate into the origin of the letter.

Earlier, addressing the media here, Saminathan urged Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE) not to do the pay out in respect of the shares traded on 22nd December and also investigate the huge volume that got traded that day.

He also urged Sebi to take up the matter with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to check for forgery.

Saminathan said for the past few days, there were news reports about Sebi’s order to him and his company to make an open offer.

“We then checked the Sebi website and found no such order there,” he said.

Around 10 a.m. on Monday, Pyramid Saimira informed the stock exchange that neither the company or Saminathan had received any communication from Sebi.

The twist came around 10.30 a.m. when the courier company Blue Dart delivered the contentious advisory, purportedly from Sebi.

“While the media got the order on 20th December itself, we wondered as to why it was delivered to our office only on Monday,” said Saminathan.

He said Blue Dart had been instructed by the consignor to deliver the letter Dec 22.

“Today Sebi confirmed to us that it has not issued any letter,” Saminathan added.

Despite the clarification issued to the bourses, there has been a trading of 7,500,000 shares with 2,500,000 shares for delivery, which he said was “abnormal”.

According to a company official, the developments pointed to a hostile takeover attempt.

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