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India's Religare asked to seek regulatory nod for top investor raising stake

The Burmans, who founded and control consumer goods conglomerate Dabur India, raised its stake in Religare to nearly 25 per cent in September last year, triggering the so-called open offer requirement that allows them to buy more shares from public shareholders.
Last Updated : 20 June 2024, 05:23 IST

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Bengaluru: India's markets regulator SEBI has asked Religare Enterprises to apply for approvals to let the billionaire Burman family buy more shares in the financial services company, dealing a blow to the company's attempt to block the move.

The Burmans, who founded and control consumer goods conglomerate Dabur India, raised its stake in Religare to nearly 25 per cent in September last year, triggering the so-called open offer requirement that allows them to buy more shares from public shareholders.

However, Religare had sought to block the deal saying the open offer was "riddled with irregularities and statutory violations and cast serious doubts on the fit and proper status of the acquirers."

The Burmans -- who want to buy around 26 per cent more of Religare to bolster its presence in the rapidly growing financial services sector -- approached the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) due to the company's lack of cooperation.

The SEBI, in an interim order dated June 19, asked Religare to furnish an undertaking that it will apply by July 12 to regulatory authorities, including the central bank, for approvals for the open offer.

It also asked Religare to form a committee of independent directors, if not already done, but did not give a reason for the directive.

"As per SEBI's advisory the company will apply for the fit and proper status of the acquirers for the open offer to the concerned regulators including the RBI," a spokesperson for Religare said in a statement.

The Burman family did not immediately respond to Reuters' emails seeking comment.

Shares of Religare, which have fallen about 13 per cent since Burman's announcing open offer last September, were up 4.5 per cent at 234.70 rupees.

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Published 20 June 2024, 05:23 IST

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