RBI delays Lakshmi Vilas Bank-DBS final merger scheme to next week

PTI, Nov 21, 2020, 10:55 AM IST

Mumbai: The Reserve Bank did not issue the final merger scheme for Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) with DBS India on Friday as stated earlier and is likely to do so only next week, according to a central bank official.

While placing LVB under a moratorium and then issuing a draft amalgamation scheme on November 17, the RBI had said it would issue the final merger scheme on November 20 (Friday) so as to help complete the resolution for the 94-year-old lender by December 16.

However, as of 2200 hrs on Friday, the central bank did not issue the final merger scheme. When contacted, a senior RBI official told PTI that the same would now be issued early next week.

While promoters own just 6.8 per cent of the bank — K R Pradeep owns 4.8 per cent and the other three promoter families N Ramamritham, NT Shah and SB Prabhakaran collectively own 2 per cent — retail shareholders hold over 45 per cent of LVB’s shares.

Institutional investors, led by Indiabulls Housing, own a little over 20 per cent.

The other institutional investors are Prolific Finvest (3.36 per cent), Srei Infra Finance (3.34 per cent), Capri Global Advisory Services (2 per cent), MN Dastur & Co (1.89 per cent) Capri Global Holdings (1.82 per cent), Trinity Alternative Investment Managers (1.61 per cent), Boyance Infrastructure (1.36 per cent) and LIC (1.32 per cent).

All of them stand to lose every penny of their investment, according to the present merger scheme.

The single largest promoter K R Pradeep earlier in the day told PTI that he would wait for the final merger scheme from the RBI before finalising the future course of action. Pradeep also said he has already submitted his objections and suggestions to get some value for his investment.

Similarly, an official of Indiabulls, whose bid to take over LVB was scuttled by the RBI in October 2019, had told PTI that the firm’s board was discussing the issue and after getting the final merger scheme would decide whether to challenge it or not.

Pradeep had said the four promoters might also approach market regulator Sebi seeking to stall automatic delisting of LVB shares and negation of any equity value of their holdings.

On November 17, shortly after placing the cash-strapped lender under a one-month moratorium, the Reserve Bank unveiled a draft merger scheme under which DBS India will infuse Rs 2,500 crore capital into LVB.

According to the draft scheme, the entire paid-up share capital of LVB will be written off.

“On and from the appointed date, the entire amount of the paid-up share capital and reserves and surplus, including the balances in the share/securities premium account of the transferor bank, shall stand written off,” the RBI had said, but added the final scheme could be different incorporating shareholder objections and suggestions.

Since the announcement, LVB shares have lost as much as 35 per cent of their value. They closed Friday’s session with a 10 per cent fall to Rs 9 on the BSE.

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