Everstone-Kenstar deal hits snag; ICICI Prudential MF told to refund investors
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Private equity firm Everstone Capital’s plans to acquire Videocon group’s home appliances brand Kenstar have hit a roadblock due to insolvency proceedings against Videocon Industries, Mint reported, citing two people aware of the development.

However, a spokesperson of Everstone Capital told the financial daily that the information on the Kenstar deal is inaccurate.

Last year in November, Everstone said it would acquire the Kenstar brand, including assets such as a manufacturing facility, from Videocon group’s associate company Century Appliances.

Kenstar makes coolers, air conditioners and other home appliances such as mixer grinders, food processors, electric kettles, air fryers, microwave ovens, water heaters and ceiling fans.

Debt-ridden Videocon Industries is a part of the second list of defaulters identified by the Reserve Bank of India under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code last year. It owes lenders over Rs 20,000 crore.

In another development, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has directed ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund to refund Rs 240 crore, with 15% annual interest, to its five schemes for large investment in the group firm ICICI Securities’ initial public offering (IPO), said media reports.

A Press Trust of India report said, citing people aware of the development, that ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund didn’t act in the best interest of unit holders and violated mutual fund regulations.

Citing a letter to ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund from SEBI, the report said the firm’s decision to revise bids and make additional bids amounting to Rs 240 crore on the last day of the IPO is a clear indication of facilitating subscription in the institutional portion so that the issue does not fail.

SEBI also asked the mutual fund firm to compensate the investors who have redeemed their units since allotment of shares in the IPO, by calculating the loss incurred by the five schemes due to a fall in the share price of ICICI Securities, the reports said.

The IPO of ICICI Securities sailed through on the final day after its parent firm trimmed the issue size owing to a shortfall in demand from retail investors and very wealthy individuals. The issue size was trimmed by roughly 12%.

ICICI Securities had raised around Rs 3,500 crore. Its initial plan was to mop up Rs 4,017 crore.

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