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Sebi feels Herbertsons heat

New Delhi, Sept. 8: The Supreme Court today issued notice to Sebi on a petition filed by United Breweries challenging a tribunal order asking Kishore R. Chhabria and Madanlal D. Chhabria to make an open offer to shareholders of Herbertsons Ltd with October 27, 1994, as a reference date to calculate the offer price.

A bench comprising chief justice V. . Khare and justice S. B. Sinha issued the notice on three questions, including the maintainability of the UB petition and posted the matter for hearing on September 15.

The court also asked Sebi as to what would happen if it were found that the acquisition of 19.1 per cent of the shares in Herbertsons Ltd by Chhabrias were void and whether there could be ex-post-facto offers.

Appearing for the Vijay Mallya-owned company, senior advocate Fali Nariman contended that August 1 decision of the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) asking the Chhabrias to make an open offer would change the management structure of Herbertsons Ltd, in which UB held 23.9 per cent of shares.

However, appearing for the Chhabrias, senior advocate Kapil Sibal questioned the locus standi of UB as it was not a party before the SAT and alleged that it was Mallya who had transferred the shares to Chhabrias.

“Mallya is now having a change of mind and for that he could not be allowed to challenge his decision to transfer the shares to Chhabrias,” he said.

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