Sebi Cracks Whip on Promoters of 105 Cos

Order against Adani Ports, Essar Ports, Omaxe, Tata Tele, among others, for not having 25% public holding

Cracking the whip on the promoters of over 100 private sector companies having failed to attain minimum 25% public holding, Sebi on Tuesday ordered freezing their voting rights and corporate benefits and barred them from holding any new position on boards of listed firms.The promoters and directors of non-compliant companies have also been barred from dealings in the market and holding new positions on the boards of listed entities till the time those companies comply with the minimum public shareholding requirements. In a 13-page late night order,Sebi also warned of further actions including levy of monetary penalties,initiation of criminal proceedings,restricting the trading activities of related stocks and other possible directions.Sebi said a total of 105 companies failed to meet the norms within the stipulated deadline of June 3,despite repeated reminders and various relaxations provided to the companies to help them meet the requirements.These included 72 companies whose shares are actively traded on the stock market, while the shares of 33 other companies are currently suspended for various reasons.The companies whose promoters and directors would face the prohibitory orders,which have come into immediate effect, include Adani Ports, BGR Energy Systems, Essar Ports,Omaxe,Plethico Pharmaceuticals and Tata Teleservices.The actions announced by Sebi against promoters include direct freezing of voting rights and corporate benefits like dividend, rights, bonus shares, share split etc., with respect to the excess shares held by the promoters beyond the 75 per cent limit,till the time these firms comply with the norms. Besides, promoters and directors of such companies have been prohibited from buying, selling or other dealing in shares of their respective companies, except for the purpose of complying with the minimum public holding norms.

Economic Times, New Delhi, 05-06-2013

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