Prashant pares Usha Martin stake

Stake of Peterhouse Investments in Usha Martin has come down to 7.35% from 8.03%

By Sambit Saha in Calcutta
  • Published 12.04.19, 12:39 AM
  • Updated 12.04.19, 12:39 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Peterhouse Investments Ltd, a promoter group company belonging to the Basant Jhawar-Prashant Jhawar faction of Usha Martin Ltd (UML), is offloading shares of the company in the open market.

The first block of the share sale took place on Monday, April 8, when 14,00,456 shares, translating to 0.46 per cent of UML, were offloaded.

The sale came a day after the company executed a business transfer agreement with Tata Sponge, a subsidiary of Tata Steel Ltd, for the sale of the steel division of the company.

The second tranche of sale involving 6,66,080 shares took place on April 9, the day UML officially announced the Tata Sponge deal even as the announcement came in after market hours. After hitting an intra-day high on Monday, the stock has been under pressure, losing around 10 per cent in the last four trading sessions. The stock closed at Rs 36.35 on Thursday on the NSE.

It is not known why Basant and Prashant Jhawar chose to pare their stakes at a time the agreement with Tata Sponge was executed. Several attempts to get a response from London-based Prashant Jhawar failed. The father-son duo has been at loggerheads with the other promoter faction of Brij Kishore Jhawar and Rajeev Jhawar.

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Peterhouse, which had an 8.03 per cent share in UML before the transaction, has an administered office in Guernsey, UK. Trident Corporate Services (No 2) Ltd, a British Virgin Island-based company, is the sole corporate director of Peterhouse, regulatory filings showed.

The development comes weeks after Basant Kumar Jhawar, the father of Prashant and the founding promoter of Usha Martin, lost out on a board berth.

The resolution on 83-year-old Basant Jhawar received only 32.7 per cent of the votes in favour, while 67.3 per cent of the votes went against him during the extraordinary general meeting on March 30.

The special resolution required the approval of 75 per cent of the shareholders voting. It was evident that the Brij-Rajeev faction voted against the resolution like most of the public shareholders.

The promoters together hold a 50.66 per cent stake in UML, as on December 2018, and the two camps are known to control an equal number of shares. However, the voting results at the EGM indicated that Basant-Prashant may have a little more than the other faction.

Brij’s son, Rajiv Jhawar, is the managing director of UML and firmly in control of the affairs of the company. After the exit of Basant, elder brother to Brij, only Prasant Jhawar remained on the board of UML.

However, the special resolution seeking the reappointment of Brij sailed through after securing over 99 per cent of the votes polled, as the Basant-Prashant Jhawar faction abstained from voting.

There have been some talks that the Basant faction has quietly entered into an understanding for the sale of its stake in UML to the Tatas. This could, however, not be confirmed from either side.