In what could be a precursor to more such deals, French banking major BNP Paribas has acquired a little over a 35% stake in retail brokerage Geojit Financial Services for Rs206.96 crore. In keeping with Indian stock market regulations, BNP will now make an offer to shareholders of Geojit to acquire an additional 20% stake in the company.
According to these regulations, anyone acquiring more than 15% stake in a company has to make an open offer to its shareholders to buy shares amounting to an additional 20%. The open offer would be made within four days, said Olivier Le Grand, head of BNP Paribas Personal Investors, who refused to divulge the open offer price. After the deal goes through, Geojit’s promoter C.J. George will own 21% of the company and the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation, 9%.
Recently, Morgan Stanley and JM Financial, partners in JM Morgan Stanley, a company that was into both broking and investment banking, went their own ways. “We would like to grow organically in our investment banking business, while we would partner with strong local players in our retail business,” said Frederic Amoudru, chief executive and country manager for BNP Paribas India. The investment banking arm of BNP Paribas in India is completely owned by the company. BNP Paribas also owns 26% of SBI Life Insurance and 49.9% of Sundaram BNP Paribas Asset Management Company.
US retail brokerage E*Trade recently acquired the controlling stake in IL&FS Investsmart, the retail brokerage arm of IL&FS. Geojit’s share price rose by 5.21% to close at Rs38.35 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on the announcement of the deal.