Maruti-Suzuki deal: Investors mull other options

: After raising the red flag over a deal between Maruti Suzuki India (MSIL) and its Japanese parent for the proposed Gujarat project, the car maker's institutional shareholders are considering further options, including approaching Sebi.

A seven-page letter written by seven mutual funds, including ICICI Prudential MF, Reliance MF and UTI MF, to Maruti Suzuki India Chairman R C Bhargava highlights investor concerns arising from the deal.

State-run LIC, which holds 6.93 per cent in MSIL, has also sought certain clarifications on this matter.

There are expectations that a meeting can be held between MSIL and fund houses in a day or two, sources said. Sebi's intervention would be sought in case of unsatisfactory response from the company, they added.

Japan-based Suzuki Motor Corporation last month had decided to take over the setting up of a plant in Gujarat, proposed by subsidiary MSIL.

The parent company would invest through wholly-owned unit Suzuki Motor Gujarat Pvt Ltd, which will manufacture vehicles exclusively for MSIL.

Mutual funds are opposing Suzuki's move as the deal would transform MSIL into a distribution company from a manufacturing one.

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