Stock exchanges have frozen crores of shares of FMCG company Patanjali Foods. This step has been taken due to non-adherence to the provision of minimum public shareholding within the stipulated time. Although Patanjali Foods says that this move of the stock markets will not have any negative impact on its regular operations.
So many crore shares were frozen
Stock exchanges have frozen promoters’ shares in Patanjali Foods, which number 292.58 million. These shares are equivalent to 80.82 per cent stake in the company. The company itself has also told that it has received emails from BSE and NSE regarding freezing of shares. The frozen shares belong to 21 promoter entities. Patanjali Ayurved is the largest shareholder of Patanjali Foods with 39.4 per cent stake. The stock exchanges have also frozen these shares. Along with this, the stake of Acharya Balkrishna has also been frozen.
What does SEBI rule say
According to the provisions of SEBI, public shareholding in any listed company should be at least 25 per cent. However, as per the data available till 31 December 2022, the holding of public shareholders in Patanjali Foods is currently 19.18 per cent. The company has issued a clarification after the action of the stock exchanges.
Company has made efforts
Patanjali Foods has told how efforts have been made to comply with the rules after buying Ruchi Soya from NCLT. When the deal was done in the year 2019, the promoters’ stake in Patanjali Foods stood at 98.87 per cent. The company was given 18 months and three years to bring down the public shareholding to 10 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively.
problems due to these reasons
The company said that it has tried its best to comply with the rules within the stipulated time frame. For this reason, the company sold shares worth Rs 4,300 crore through a public offer in March 2022, after which the public shareholding in the company increased to 19.18 per cent. The company said that due to the Corona epidemic and adverse market conditions, the fixed limit could not be achieved, but soon the rules would be fulfilled.
For the time being there will be no effect
The company has also informed that as per SEBI guidelines, there is a lock-in on the promoters’ stake for one year after listing in the stock exchanges, which is applicable till 08 April 2023. Because of this, the latest action taken by the stock markets is not going to have any immediate effect. Along with this, the company has also expressed confidence that this action will not affect its financial health.
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