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Dhanvarsha Group Makes Hostile Bid Of Rs 300 Cr For Dhanlaxmi Bank

Thrissur based Dhanlaxmi Bank has always been in the news for the wrong reasons — labour/union strife, mis-management and hostile takeovers.  The Delhi-based diversified group, Dhanvarsha Group, has made an Rs 300 crore unsolicited bid. The group has offered Rs 11.85 per share as against the market price of Rs 12.45. The bank is not new to takeover bids. ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank and HDFC Bank have all eyed Dhanlaxmi Bank but seem to have faltered at the altar. The first hostile bid was made during its public issue in 1996. Ind Global and the Concept group, both involved in the public issue, intended to acquire controlling stake of the bank. This failed once the media got wind of their interest. To tied-over its problems, the then promoter, R Kalyanaraman (Goodnight Mohan) brought in the Bangalore-based Raja Mohan Rao, who owned JT Mobile. Rao also entered through the back door when the bank’s 2002 public issue bombed. Rao then picked up 37 % stake for Rs 20 crore thereby making him the single largest shareholder ever. By then the RBI changed the rules of the game. No private entity could hold more than 40% in a bank and the voting right for each individual/company was restricted to 10% only. The bank, started in 1927, has Kerala’s two top businessmen, Yusuf Ali (4.9 %) and Ravi Pillai (4.4%) as shareholders.