SKS Trust divests 7.59% stake in SKS Microfinance for around $30M

Biksham Gujja-led SKS Trust Advisors Private Limited has cut down its stake holding in India’s lone listed micro-lender SKS Microfinance Limited, by selling 7.59 per cent equity stake in the company for around Rs 182 crore ($30.5 million) via bulk deals on the National Stock Exchange. Now, it owns only 4.88 per cent stake holding in SKS Microfinance.

SKS Trust, the sole trustee of five mutual benefit trusts (MBT) whose beneficiaries are self-help group borrowers of SKS Microfinance, is the original promoter and shareholder of the micro-lender. The company's Mutual Benefit Trusts include SKS Mutual Benefit Trust Medak, Sangareddy, Jogipet, Narayankhed and Sadasivapet.

The five associated entities to SKS Trust sold off a total of 8.2 million shares on Wednesday. Shares were sold at a price ranging between Rs 220-225 per share.

Shares of SKS Microfinance were trading at Rs 288.4 a unit, up 2.36 per cent on the BSE in mid-day trades in a strong Mumbai market on Thursday.

The shares were acquired by some financial institutions besides high net-worth individuals.

The transaction makes WestBridge Capital the single largest shareholder of SKS Microfinance with 10.18 per cent.

SKS Trust was founded by former SKS chief Vikram Akula. In late 2011, Akula quit SKS Microfinance over differences with the firm’s board but was reportedly keen on getting back on board of the company with the backing of the five trusts.

However, SKS Microfinance recently informed that its founder and former chief Akula as also a set of mutual benefit trusts are no longer classified as promoters of the firm as they do not have any special rights or management control.

SKS Microfinance was founded by Akula in 1997 and was converted into a non-banking financial company in 2005. Akula left the company after difference with the management and the board in 2011.

Meanwhile, SKS Trust recently said it has acquired 70 per cent stake in Outreach Financial Services India (OFS India), a Hyderabad-based financial services startup promoted by former employees of SKS Microfinance.

SKS Microfinance is in the process of raising up to Rs 400 crore through a qualified institutional placement, the second such institutional fundraising in the last two years.

Leave Your Comment(s)