Bear market seems to be driving some punters to take desperate actions. Call it the work of some hard pressed punters who are trying to recoup losses through scams in the secondary market, or a handiwork of rivals in the dog eat dog world of business.
Entertainment firm Pyramid Saimira has been the target of a serious fraud wherein the company was sent a forged letter of SEBI asking it to make an open offer to minority shareholders as one of the co-promoters PS Saminathan had violated the creeping acquisition norms by purchasing more than 5% stake from the open market in a year.
The story which appeared in DNA on Monday December 22 said that market regulator SEBI has asked chairman and co-promoter of Pyramid Saimira Theatre, PS Saminathan to make an open offer to buy 20% stake in the public listed company at Rs 250 a share. An open offer for 20% stake at Rs 250 a share would have cost Saminathan close to Rs 141 crore($30 million).
It also said that SEBI has questioned the company’s co-promoter for announcing a transaction where Saminathan is buying out NC Ravichandran and Nirmal Kotecha at a price of Rs 200 per share as against the ruling price of around Rs 60 and that these shares held by Ravichandran and Kotecha were not eligible for sale in the first place.
In October, the cinema chain operator had disclosed that Saminathan plans to buy around 7 million shares, or 24.9% of the company, from founders NC Ravichandran and Nirmal Kotecha. The shares were to be acquired at Rs 200 each, raising Saminathan’s holding in the company to 46.9%.
On December 23, Pyramid Saimira announced that SEBI has indeed sent an advisory to Saminathan to file prospectus for public announcement for the open offer to acquire 20% of shareholding within 14 days at a price of Rs 250/share. Thereafter SEBI denied having sent any such advisory.
Pyramid Saimira has now announced that it was a forged letter: “Pyramid Saimira calls for investigation by the concerned investigative agencies including CBI since there has been evidence in light of that a Government’s letter head has been forged…”
It has also asked BSE and NSE to block payments for transactions done on the two days December 22 and 23 as a result of the false news and investigate the huge volume trading on these two days.
The stock has doubled in two weeks after hitting its one year low of Rs 35 on December 2. Over the last two days the stock has seen massive activity of 75 lakh shares with 25 lakh shares marked for delivery based trading. The scrip has tanked 33% from its intra day high of Rs 82 on Monday.