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Maruti Suzuki runs into more trouble on Gujarat plant plan

Mar 18 2014, 20:59 IST
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Maruti Suzuki last week decided to seek minority shareholders' nod for a proposal. Reuters Maruti Suzuki last week decided to seek minority shareholders' nod for a proposal. Reuters
SummaryCertain changes would be made to the original plan before it is put for vote by Maruti Suzuki.

transferred to Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) at book value and not at fair value as was envisaged before.

However, another proxy firm SES has said it is now in favour of Maruti Suzuki's Gujarat proposal.

When contacted, a Maruti Suzuki India spokesperson said: "It is clearly more beneficial for Maruti this way, more so after the Board decisions on Saturday".

In an e-mailed statement, proxy firm SES said that it would recommend shareholders "to engage positively with the board to address the additional remaining concerns."

These concerns include duration for which export territories are exclusively assigned to MSIL, voluntarily adoption of disclosure norms as applicable to public listed company in India by subsidiary and MSIL having the authority to get cost-audit of subsidiary done at any point of time.

The proposal would need approval from three-fourth of minority shareholders in the company. Promoter Suzuki holds nearly 56 per cent stake, while 44 per cent stake is held by public shareholders.

Among public investors, LIC holds the maximum of about 7 per cent, while other domestic institutional investors also have nearly 7 per cent stake. FIIs, including HSBC, Credit Suisse and Norway government's Pension Fund, have 21.5 per cent equity, while retail investors have over 8 per cent and nearly 6 per cent is with bodies corporate.

Suzuki Motor Corp, in January, announced that it would invest USD 488 million on the Gujarat plant, which was originally proposed to be set up by subsidiary MSIL (Maruti Suzuki India Ltd).

SMC proposed to invest in the plant through wholly-owned unit Suzuki Motor Gujarat (SMGPL).

Maruti had originally proposed to set up the plant near Mehsana and had in 2012 bought land before SMC decided to takeover it to allow the Indian arm to focus on product development and marketing.

Opposing the move, MSIL's institutional investors approached Sebi, seeking its intervention to safeguard minority shareholders' interests. Private sector mutual funds and insurance companies, which own almost 7 per cent of the company, led the dissent.

State-run Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) had also sought clarifications from MSIL about the Gujarat project.

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