Cracking the whip on the promoters of Southern Fuel Ltd for failing to attain minimum 25 per cent public holding, markets regulator Sebi has ordered freezing of their voting rights and corporate benefits and barred them from holding any new position on boards of any listed firm.
The promoters and directors have also been barred from the market till they comply with the minimum public shareholding requirements.
The watchdog has also warned of further actions including levy of monetary penalties, initiation of criminal proceedings, restricting the trading activities of related stocks, among others.
As per the last disclosed shareholding pattern of the company as on June 2015, the promoter holding was at 90.6 per cent and the public shareholders were holding 9.4 per cent.
The actions announced by Sebi against promoters include “direct freezing of voting rights and corporate benefits like dividend, rights, bonus shares, share split etc., with respect to the excess” shares held by the promoters beyond the 75 per cent limit, till the time the firm complies with the norms.
Besides, promoters and directors of the firm have been prohibited from buying, selling or other dealing in shares of their respective companies, except for the purpose of complying with the minimum public holding norms.
The entities have also been restrained from holding “any new position as a director in any listed company, till such time these companies comply with the minimum public shareholding requirement,” Sebi said.
The other possible actions include moving their shares to trade-to-trade segment, excluding them from futures and options trade, monetary penalties under adjudication proceedings, initiation of criminal case by way of prosecution and other actions, as may be deemed appropriate at a later stage.
The company and their promoters and directors have been asked to file their replies, if any, to the Sebi order within 21 days, Sebi said.