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Vikram Akula may need to battle it out for SKS Microfinance board seat

Vikram Akula, founder of SKS Microfinance who quit the firm in late 2011 over differences with the firm’s board, may find his homecoming difficult.

SKS Microfinance, which received a letter from its single largest shareholder SKS Trust Advisors Pvt Ltd proposing Akula as its nominee on the board, said that no shareholder has any right to nominate a director on the company’s board. The trust reportedly said it is looking at legal options to pursue its interest.

The lone listed MFI said in a filing, "The company states that under its Articles of Association, no shareholder has any right to nominate a director.”

It added that all requests for appointment as director are required to be made in accordance with the Companies Act and the Articles of Association of the company and will be processed in accordance with the law.

SKS Trust raised its holding to 12.6 per cent last week after acquiring shares in the open market and nominated Akula as its representative on its board during the weekend. Following this, Akula said he is personally interested in leading the firm again.

The proposal is expected to be taken up in the next annual general meeting that is yet to be announced.

WestBridge Capital is buying out Unitus’ remaining holding to raise its stake to 8.4 per cent which would make it the third-largest shareholder of SKS Microfinance, the country’s second-largest MFI. Institutional investor CLSA is the second-largest shareholder of the microlender which also counts Sequoia Capital and veteran venture capital investor Vinod Khosla as shareholders.

A mail sent to WestBridge spokesperson to gather its view on Akula’s candidature did not elicit a response.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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