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After Several Twists And Turns TMB On The Cusp Of Making History

With the public issue of one of the oldest private sector banks in the country oversubscribed, Tamilnad Mercantile Bank (TMB) is set for an historic moment on September 15 as its shares get listed. TMB is, perhaps, among the last of the community-led private banks in the country to get listed.  Indeed, TMB has come a long way since the quarrelling Nadar community members sold over 65% stake to the Ruias of the Essar Group in mid-90s. In the face of a strident RBI, the Ruias were forced to palm off TMB shares to serial entrepreneur C Sivasankaran in exchange of cellular licence for the Delhi circle. But Sivasankaran had to face hostility from the Nadar community and had to give in because it became a political issue with warring parties jostled among themselves to woo Nadar community, which is a crucial component of electoral politics in Tamil Nadu. Nearly 33% were bought back by the community members after a deal brokered by the then deputy prime minister LK Advani. After several twists and turns the TMB is on the cusp of making history. That could herald a new beginning for the over century-year-old private sector bank. Even post the public issue, the Nadar community will have controlling stake in the bank – though a distributed manner among members.