Rakesh Jhunjhunwala buys 2 pct stake in MCX, FTIL cuts stake to 24 pct

Written by Press Trust of India | Mumbai | Updated: Jul 9 2014, 02:50am hrs
Rakesh JhunjhunwalaRakesh Jhunjhunwala purchased nearly two per cent stake in commodity bourse MCX for over Rs 66 crore
Ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala today purchased nearly two per cent stake in commodity bourse MCX for over Rs 66 crore, as its erstwhile promoter FTIL diluted its holding from 26 per cent to 24 per cent.

According to information available with the stock exchanges, MCX's erstwhile promoter Financial Technologies (India) Ltd (FTIL) has sold a total of 10.19 lakh shares, amounting to two per cent stake in the commodity bourse.

Jhunjhunwala picked up 10 lakh shares of Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) on an average price of Rs 664 apiece, data showed. This values the transaction at Rs 66.4 crore.

These transactions took place at a time when parleys are being held on for sale of 24 per cent stake by Jignesh Shah-promoted FTIL in MCX and the interested bidders include Kotak Group and Reliance Capital.

However, the stake sale had earlier hit a roadblock after bidders claimed that they have not given access to 'special audits' of MCX.

With this stake sale, FTIL's holding in MCX will come down to 24 per cent.

In December, commodity markets regulator FMC had declared FTIL as unfit to run any exchange after a Rs 5,600 crore payment crisis at group company National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL).The regulator asked FTIL to reduce its stake in MCX to 2 per cent from 26 per cent.

Shares of MCX today jumped by 4.18 per cent to close at Rs 679.70 apiece on the BSE.

Later in the evening, FTIL said in a filing to the BSE that it has sold nearly 2 per cent of its stake in MCX through the open market.

"The company continues the discussions on disinvestment with the prospective buyers and on reaching a definitive offer, the company may consider the disinvestment to such bidders," it added.

"The company has sold 10,19,000 equity shares of MCX in the market. Post selling, the companys holding in MCX has come down from 26 per cent to 24.02 per cent," FTIL said.

Jignesh Shah-led FTIL had started the divestment process in March for divesting its 24 per cent stake in MCX and had appointed JM Financials as an investment banker.

"Due to the process of divestment getting delayed as a result of the publishing of revised norms by FMC, publishing of PwC special audit report without giving an opportunity to FTIL amongst the reasons for delay, the company, without prejudice to its legal rights, had decided to divest shares that are not locked in and hence had sold these on the floor of the Exchange," FTIL said.

FTIL said the equity shares representing 20 per cent of the post-offer equity share capital of MCX held by FTIL is locked in as promoters' contribution till March 2015 in terms of Regulation 36 of ICDR Regulations.

"Any disinvestment out of this 20 per cent will need to comply with the regulations," it added.