More time needed on takeover code: Sebi

More time needed on takeover code: Sebi

Mumbai: Market regulator Sebi said on Monday it needs more time to decide on the new takeover code - wherein proposals have been made to give retail investors parity with promoters, and also for open offer for cent per cent stake in acquisitions.

A decision could not be made in today’s board meeting and the issue would be taken up again in the next meeting of the board, Sebi chairman C B Bhave told reporters here.

The regulator has already collated all the public comments on the proposed draft Takeover Code.

In July, a Sebi committee, under the chairmanship of C Achuthan, had proposed changes in the current takeover rules, to give more rights to minority shareholders.

The panel had also recommended making it mandatory for acquirers to make an offer for up to 100% stake in any listed company.

At present, an open offer for a minimum of 20% in is required to be made by any entity that has purchased 15% equity, either from the promoters or the open market.

The committee had also suggested an increase in the open offer trigger point to 25%, from 15% now.

Sources said that there have been mostly positive comments on the guidelines proposed in the draft Takeover Code, especially for the one enhancing the public offer trigger point to 25%.

However, there is no unanimous view on acquirers being asked to make an offer for the entire 100% holding in the public offers so that public shareholders also get an opportunity along with promoters to exit.

The new code has also proposed to bring in parity in pricing for promoters and non-promoter shareholders. It proposes that minority shareholders also get the same price as a substantial shareholder and provide a level playing field to all stakeholders, whether they are promoters or small investors.

At present, the promoters and some large shareholders get better price by way of non-compete fees and other payments from the buyers and these are not available to small investors.