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Stranded Retail Investors Ask Why MNC Sold INEOS Styrolution Stake To Original Promoter At Hefty Discount

This is an unusual story of an Indian promoter selling his company to a MNC and buying back the same company from another MNC. In 1997, on the eve of ABS Industries’ Silver Jubilee, promoter Rakesh Agrawal sold his stake to Bayer AG which rechristened it as Bayer ABS Ltd. Now, in 2022, on the eve of the same company’s Golden Jubilee, Agrawal has bought back the same company now known as INEOS Styrolution India Limited (ISIL), controlled by a MNC — INEOS Styrolution — by paying Rs 645 crore for 61.19% stake. The parent company INEOS Styrolution, a global leader in styrenics, recently announced that it had entered into an agreement for the sale of its entire shareholding in ISIL to Shiva Performance Materials (SPM) – part of the Vadodara-based Shiva Group. Incidentally, the promoter-chairman of Shiva Group is Rakesh Agrawal. But, what’s surprising is MNC selling its stake to the original promoter at less than one-third the peak price? How did MNC agree for a price of Rs 600 for a stock which was quoting above that price for the last 20 months? Since the current market price of the stock is hovering above Rs 900, no retail investor is expected to tender their shares. Hence, the open offer has become meaningless.  Clearly, this below-the-market-price transaction has hit the small investor’s hard and the deal warrants market regulators’ attention. By arrangement with