Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another corporate governance event in India, and this time no body notices

Two weeks after Raju's family unsuccessful attempt to loot Satyam's shareholders, another promoter family has done something similar. This time, however, there is no noise in the media or amongst the institutional shareholders. It has gone quietly under the radar, like everything else in India. 

Promoters of Murugappa group are pumping 300 crore into their troubled NBFC - Cholamandalam DBS. According to Economic Times, "The NBFC will issue one crore zero coupon fully convertible preference (FCP) shares of Rs l00 each at a premium of Rs 200, aggregating to Rs 300 crores to the existing promoters of the company — The Murugappa group and DBS. The Murugappa group companies, which will be investing in these FCPs, include Tube Investment of India, EID Parry (India), Coromandel Fertilisers and Carborundum Universal." 

Carborundum Universal is an industrial company. When I buy a share of this company in the public market, I am really not interested in getting exposure to a financial NBFC through this company. I assume that the excess free cash of the company will either get reinvested in the business or be paid out as dividends. Aren't minority shareholders getting cheated out of their money by asking to invest in a troubled group company at a valuation that is not transparent?

The only difference between Satyam and this situation is simply this - Raju's own only 8% of Satyam while Murugappa's own 43% in Carborundum. So Raju's were much more brazen.  

The first criteria to evaluate any Indian stock should be simply this - do promoters have other companies into which the cash generated by the stock under consideration could be diverted? Because, in the next two years, more events like this will surely crop up.  

1 comment:


Corruption is a serious problem in all countries the world over.