SEBI asks HDFC AMC to scrap pre-IPO placement; Cox & Kings mulls stake sale in PGL
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The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has directed HDFC Asset Management Co. Ltd to refund the money it had collected in pre-IPO placement from financial advisers and distributors, The Economic Times reported, citing three people aware of the development.

HDFC AMC, India’s second-largest mutual fund company by assets, is a joint venture of Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) and British asset manager Standard Life Investments Ltd.

The report said HDFC AMC could receive final clearance to float the initial public offering once this refund is completed.

The mutual fund company had sold shares worth about Rs 150 crore to distributors in April, according to the report.

HDFC AMC had filed its draft prospectus on 15 March. The public issue consists entirely of a secondary sale of 25.5 million shares by HDFC, India’s largest mortgage lender, and Standard Life.

HDFC owned a 57.36% stake in HDFC AMC as of September last year. Standard Life held a 38.24% stake while the remaining was held by key company officials.

In another report, The Economic Times said that Mumbai-based tours and travel company Cox & Kings Ltd is exploring the possibility of selling a stake or an IPO in the UK for its education business unit PGL.

PGL provides residential outdoor learning programmes which are linked to the students’ curriculum in the age group of 6-18 years. It has operations in the UK, Europe and Australia.

Cox & Kings has mandated investment bank Baird to advise on the share sale, the report said, citing people aware of the development. PGL is valued around Rs 5,000-6,000 crore.

PGL, part of Holidaybreak Plc, accounts for about 81% of the operating profit of Cox & Kings’ education division, according to its annual report.

Cox & Kings had acquired European holiday specialist Holidaybreak in 2011, in a deal valued at $510 million (Rs 2,260 crore).

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