SEBI asks Religare to apply for open offer before July 12

In January 2024, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) gave its nod to the Burmans for the follow-up open offer to take its holding to up to 53.94%.
SEBI has observed that the current board of REL has failed to comply with the securities law
SEBI has observed that the current board of REL has failed to comply with the securities law

NEW DELHI: Capital market regulator SEBI has come down heavily on Religare Enterprises (REL) chairperson Rashmi Saluja and its board of directors for obstructing the Burman family from launching an open offer for acquiring a majority stake in the financial conglomerate.

The SEBI has observed that the current board of REL has failed to comply with the securities law and has directed the company to apply to the RBI, IRDAI, and SEBI before July 12. These applications are an integral part of processing an open offer launch.

“While the acquirers (Burmans) have repeatedly followed up with the company (Religare) to obtain statutory approvals (failing which the open offer cannot proceed), the target company has steadfastly refused to co-operate and, in fact, has acted in an apparently hostile manner,” said Sebi in a notice dated June 19.

It added, “The target company can’t be allowed to impinge on the rights of the shareholders and their fate can’t be left hanging in balance. However, since the target company, even after explicit advice from SEBI, has refused to take step for making applications to regulators for statutory approvals, SEBI is left with no other option but to issue urgent directions to the noticees to take appropriate steps in this regard.”

Burman family of FMCG major Dabur had in September 2023 announced a Rs 2,116 crore open offer to acquire up to 26% additional stake in the REL after its shareholding breached the 25% mark. Since the announcement was made, the Burmans and senior board members of Religare, led by Saluja, have levelled serious accusations against each other.

In January 2024, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) gave its nod to the Burmans for the follow-up open offer to take its holding to up to 53.94%. However, the open offer is yet to pass through.

REL failed to comply with securities law: SEBI

SEBI has observed that the current board of REL has failed to comply with securities law and has directed the company to apply to RBI, IRDAI, and SEBI before July 12. These applications are integral part of processing open offer launch. Burmans of Dabur had in Sept 2023 announced `2,116 crore open offer to acquire 26% stake in the REL

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