Reliance Power Asks SEBI To Immediately Ban Edelweiss Group From Capital Markets
Anil Ambani-led Reliance Power Ltd. has asked the Securities and Exchange Board of India to immediately ban Edelweiss Group from the capital market, alleging “illegal and market disruptive activities” to cause a steep plunge in the company’s share price.
Reliance Group, last week, accused L&T Finance and Edelweiss Group entities of “illegal” and “motivated” actions in invoking the pledged shares of Anil Ambani group’s three listed firms and selling them in open market causing a steep fall in share values.
L&T Finance and Edelweiss Group have refuted the allegations and have counter-alleged that Reliance Group failed to make timely payments, which they said necessitated sale of pledged shares.
Reliance Power, in a fresh letter to the SEBI dated Feb. 11, also asked the markets regulator to declare all Edelweiss Group entities as not being “fit and proper” and impose a ban on each of them from the capital markets and related activities.
It also asked the regulator to investigate the sale of Reliance Power shares by Edelweiss Group on Feb. 4-5.
When contacted, a Reliance Group spokesperson referred to an earlier statement in which boards of three listed companies of the group—Reliance Power, Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance Capital—had approved and recommended “all appropriate legal steps” to protect shareholders’ value.
“We will take all legal steps necessary to protect and enhance the value of our stakeholders, including pursuing the matter with an appropriate regulator,” the spokesperson added.
There was no response to a query sent to Edelweiss Group. Last week, Edelweiss said it had granted credit facilities against pledge of shares to Reliance Group and it reached out numerous times to the group to address concerns on shortfall in margins and resultant fall in collateral valuation.
It said liquidation of collateral was necessitated after Reliance Group continued to breach contractual obligations, and did not reply to an offer for remediation.
The letter alleged that Edelweiss Group usurped powers vested in debenture trustee over pledged shares and violated legal, contractual and fiduciary obligation to realise fair value for pledged shares.
“The Edelweiss Group arbitrarily bypassed and flouted all documents processes for invoking of the pledge and enforcement of the security by the debenture trustee and instead illegally and in a pre-mediated manner themselves started dumping huge opportunities of Reliance Power shares and futures in the open market commencing from 9:57 a.m. on Feb. 4 and through the end of business hours on Feb. 5,” it added.
This illegal actions of Edelweiss Group brought down the share price of the company by 57 percent in just two days.
Reliance Capital alleged that Edelweiss Group entities were indulged in illegal and market disruptive activities and violated the Sebi’s Prohibition of Fraudulent and Unfair Trade Practices norms.
The company’s promoter are also seeking “restoration of status quo ante and punitive damages from Edelweiss Group”.
Earlier, the company had written a letter to the SEBI on Feb. 6 requesting it to investigate the matter and impose restrain on entities that pressed huge sale orders significantly below the prevailing market price and in-depth investigate the matter.
Similar complaints are expected to be filed by Reliance Capital and Reliance Infrastructure as well, sources said.
Meanwhile, the SEBI is looking into allegations and counter-allegations related to the sale of pledged shares of Reliance Group’s three listed firms by two lenders, as per senior officials.