The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Jhawars up stake in Usha Beltron

Calcutta, Sept. 4: The promoters of Usha Beltron have increased their stake in the company by 9.46 per cent.

The company said in a notice sent to the stock exchanges today that its vice-chairman Prashant Jhawar had bought 25 lakh shares from UK-based Peterhouse Investments Ltd.

Another notice from group concern Usha Martin Infotech said Jhawar had increased his stake in it by 9.04 per cent. The notice said he had acquired 23.88 lakh shares from the same UK-based investment firm.

When contacted in Thailand, Rajeev Jhawar, managing director of Usha Beltron said: “Prashant has bought Peterhouse Investments from one C. L. Parson. He acquired the shares held by the investment firm at current market prices.”

However, joint managing director of Usha Beltron, P. Bhattacharya, feigned ignorance about the developments. When contacted, Bhattacharya said he had not heard a word about the Jhawars raising their stake in the two group companies.

After the deals, the Jhawars’ stake in Usha Beltron has gone up to 31.16 per cent and to 35.34 per cent Usha Martin Infotech. Prashant Jhawar’s personal holding in Usha Beltron has increased to 9.97 per cent, and in Usha Martin Infotech to 9.92 per cent, the notices sent to the exchanges today said.

The shares of Usha Beltron are currently trading at Rs 25-26, whereas the share price of Usha Martin Infotech is hovering around Rs 5.50. Assuming that the shares were bought at these prices, Prashant Jhawar had to spend around Rs 7.7 crore to increase his stake in the two companies.

The management of Usha Beltron had recently tapped German finance company DEG and Washington-based International Finance Corporation (IFC) for investment in the Calcutta-based steel manufacturer. The Usha Beltron management offered to issue equity shares to the two financial institutions on a preferential basis.

Senior officials had recently said DEG had conducted the due diligence exercise for the investment and had offered funds both as equity and debt. The company said the offer from IFC, too, was similar.

Going forward, both IFC and DEG may be offered 15 per cent stake in Usha Beltron, the company’s management said. The fund would be used to expand its operations and retire high-cost debts.

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