The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Jumbo seeks 100% in Woodroffe

New Delhi, Nov. 13 (PTI): In line with plans to consolidate holdings in its group companies, Jumbo World Holdings has again petitioned the government for raising its stake in Gordon Woodroffe to 100 per cent, even as similar proposals for Shaw Wallace and Falcon Tyres have been rejected.

Late Manu Chhabria’s Jumbo operates from British Virgin Islands and its proposal to acquire 100 per cent of liquor flagship Shaw Wallace as well as Falcon was rejected by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board earlier since prosecution proceedings had been initiated by Sebi against some promoters.

This time, Jumbo wants to acquire total control of property development company Gordon Woodroffe by acquiring 78.48 per ent equity shares of Rs 10 each of the company.

However, the FIPB has deferred consideration of this proposal in a meeting held on October 24 saying, “Eligibility for enhanced investment in the sector from the NRI angle will require detailed examination,” sources said here.

Also, the board has asked for comments from the administrative ministry as well as the RBI on this issue before taking a decision.

Meanwhile, similar proposals for Shaw Wallace and Falcon Tyres have been forwarded to the department of economic affairs for its comments, they added.

A listed company, Gordon Woodroffe is located at Chennai. It was initially in the business of leather and freight forwarding, but after the recent restructuring, the loss making leather division has been closed down and the services division tranferred to a subsidiary company.

Gordon is now into the property business. Besides Shaw Wallace properties has recently been merged with this company.

Shares of Gordon are currently resting with several investment companies of the Chhabrias including Dandvati Investment and Trading Company, Firestorm Finance and Trading and Harshit Finlease and Investments.

Gordon has existing NRI/OCB equity of 10.11 per cent amounting to Rs 102.2 lakh held by Jumbo World.

Jumbo’s proposal is supported by board resolutions of itself, the target company as well as three resident shareholding firms.

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