Mumbai: Fresenius Kabi (Singapore) Pte Ltd, the majority stake holder in the Indian cancer specialty drug maker Dabur Pharma Ltd, has asked for more time from markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India, or Sebi, as well as Indian stock exchanges, for complying with norms that require a promoter company to limit its holding to up to 90% in a listed entity.
The multinational firm, a subsidiary of German nutrition and emergency care product company Fresenius Kabi AG, holds 90.89% equity in the Indian company. It asked for this extension as it doesn’t want to sell the excess 0.89% stake at more than 50% discount in the market.
Shareholding: Dabur headquarters in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. Rajeev Dabral / Mint
Dabur shares, which have plunged, as have Indian markets, closed on Tuesday at Rs34 a share on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Fresenius bought a 73.27% equity stake in Dabur in June at Rs76.50 a share. The German company had also purchased another 17.62% shares from the market through an open offer at the same price.
Says Rakesh Bhargava, chairman of Dabur, which will soon be renamed Fresenius Kabi Oncology Ltd: “We have written to the board as well as the leading stock exchanges where the company is listed seeking an extension to bring down the holding to 90% as we will incur a huge loss if we sell the excess holding at the current market price.”
“The normal practice is to comply with the listing norms as early as possible, but we have sought time till we arrive at a pricing formula as per the rules,” Bhargava added. Fresenius is yet to hear from Sebi and a senior official at the regulator, who didn’t want to be identified, would only say that such requests are granted case-by-case. He wouldn’t elaborate.
If Fresenius sells its excess Dabur shares at current prices, it will potentially incur a loss of more than Rs6 crore, as it would need to sell some 1.5 million shares, bought at Rs76.50 a share, at Rs34 a share. Separately, Bhargava said Dabur is targeting an average annual revenue growth of 20% as the Indian oncology market is growing even faster. “The company, which is part of a multinational group can also leverage its international oncology product portfolio to boost growth here, in addition to the possibilities of expanding its export business to Europe and the US,” he added.
Fresenuis last month acquired APP Pharmaceuticals Inc. (APP) in the US. “The Indian oncology company will also sell several of its products to the US through APP,” Bhargava added.