Regulator Sebi has barred Merlin Agri Projects India Ltd and its directors from the capital markets for not complying with public issue norms. A probe by Sebi found that the company had allotted redeemable preference shares worth about Rs 51 lakh to 56 persons between 2011 and 2013. Since these securities were issued to more than 50 investors, this qualified as a public issue, which requires compulsory listing on recognised stock exchanges. Among others, the firm was also required to the file a prospectus, which it failed to do.
“I find that MAPIL (Merlin Agri Projects India Ltd) is prima facie in breach of the provisions of … Companies Act, 1956 in connection with the subject offer and allotment of preference shares,” Sebi Whole Time Member G Mahalingam said in an order dated June 23. “…the money mobilisation activity on the part of MAPIL is potentially placing investors at risk. In the light of the facts in the instant matter, I find this to be a fit case to pass interim directions against MAPIL,” he added.
Accordingly, Sebi has restrained the firm and its directors from buying, selling or otherwise dealing in securities market either directly or indirectly. It has asked the firm and its directors not to dispose of any of their assets or divert any funds raised from public through the offer and allotment of preference shares.