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Port of Antwerp to convert Essar Ports GDS into equity shares

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 20:32

New Delhi: Essar Ports Wednesday said its strategic partner Port of Antwerp International will convert the global depository shares held in it into equity shares, a move that would help the Essar group firm in meeting 25 percent minimum public shareholding norm.

Essar Ports, in a statement, said that it has informed SEBI about "the status of the balance dilution by way of conversion of GDS held by Port of Antwerp International UK Ltd."

It added that one of its promoters, Essar Shipping and Logistics Ltd, had sold 5.33 percent stake in last one week and SEBI has been apprised about the same.

"Pursuant to such conversion the public share holding in the company would increase to 25.03 percent and the company would be in compliance with the requirement of minimum public shareholding norm," the company further said.

The Essar statement comes a day after market regulator SEBI cracked the whip and imposed various restrictions on 105 companies, including Essar Ports, for not complying with the deadline of June 3 in meeting the minimum public shareholding norm.

Port of Antwerp International (PAI), the international investing arm of the Antwerp Port Authority, had acquired global depository shares (GDS) of Essar Ports last year, amounting to about 4.07 percent fully diluted paid up capital of the company a year ago for about Rs 175 crore.

Essar Ports sources said that PAI is in the process of converting the GDS into equity shares and the company has received SEBI approval for including the equity shares issued on conversion of GDS, as a part of public share holding.

Scrambling to meet the deadline of June 3 for meeting the 25 percent minimum public shareholding norm, Essar Shipping and Logistics Ltd -- the promoters of Essar Ports-- had sold 5.33 percent stake or 22,806,018 shares in last one week (since May 30).

The share sale, conducted through the offer for sale route, was conducted in two tranches as the first OFS, launched on May 30, remained under subscribed.

In its order on companies not meeting the deadline of June 3 for having 25 percent minimum public shareholding, SEBI yesterday had ordered freezing their voting rights and corporate benefits and barred them from holding any new position on boards of listed firms.

105 firms, including Essar Ports, Adani Ports and SEZ and Tata Teleservices, were found guilty of not meeting the norms.

The promoters and directors of non-compliant companies were also barred from dealings in the market and holding new positions on the boards of listed entities till the time the companies comply with the norms.

In its 13-page order, SEBI had also warned of further actions including levy of monetary penalties, initiation of criminal proceedings, restricting the trading activities of related stocks and other possible directions.


First Published: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 20:32
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