Started in a small room a few years ago with two or three employees, the rise of Money Matters Financial Services, founded by Rajesh Sharma, was like a fairy tale until yesterday when he was arrested by CBI in one of the biggest corporate loan scams.
A chartered accountant, Sharma’s company, Money Matters Financial Services, boasted of corporate biggies such as like Adani Group, Tata Group, Reliance ADA Group, Aditya Birla Group, Orbit Corporation, Indiabulls, Suzlon, HCC, Jaypee Group as clients, for whom he used to strike big deals on both equity and debt front. The company specialised in loan syndication, debt placement, financial restructuring and debt settlement.
"Money Matters grew at a high pace during time of recession and the period following that. It was a time everybody was looking for funding badly. Corporate houses faced acute shortage of liquidity and, using his personal connections, Sharma succeeded in clinching many deals for them to raise funds,” according to a person, who has known Sharma for years.
But, his real ability lies in making ‘distressed IPOs’ - companies whose IPO remained undersubscribed till the last few hours before close – a success with the help of banks and financial institutions.
The numbers mirror the story of the company's phenomenal rise. Its net profit zoomed from Rs 4.27 crore in FY08 to Rs 102.65 crore in next fiscal and Rs 125.57 crore in the subsequent year. According to data available, sales of the company in fiscal 2008 was just Rs 7.80 crore. It jumped to Rs 176.29 crore the following year. Last fiscal, it reported sales of Rs 224.3 crore.
According to a Business Standard report, the shares that were languishing at Rs 7 in late 2007 and at Rs 50 in April of 2009, zoomed to Rs 787 in the last week of October, just ahead of its much talked about qualified institutional placement (QIP).
No wonder then the company raised Rs 445 crore through qualified institutional placement (QIP) in October this year, global biggies like Morgan Stanley, Wellington, Fidelity and GMO queued up to invest in the QIP at Rs 625.25 per share.
Boston-based investment management firm Wellington Management Co held over 5% of the company’s shares.
The company syndicated Rs 44,000 crore of loans during the last fiscal. It recently syndicated a loan close to Rs 200 crore for DB Realty which was sanctioned from LIC Housing Finance, at an interest cost of 13.5%.
Update: In 2015, a Mumbai court discharged Money Matters' Sharma, LIC's Nair and several others, according to court documents submitted with VCCircle by Gurugram Police.
*This article has been modified to include additional information.