The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is checking data relating to trades in Ranbaxy before Sun Pharma announced on Monday it was acquiring the Daiichi Sankyo-owned firm in an all-stock transaction, reports Jash Kriplani in Mumbai. “There is no formal investigation; we are making preliminary enquiries,” a senior Sebi official said. Meanwhile, Sun Pharma on Wednesday refuted speculation regarding insider trading against its wholly-owned arm Silverstreet Developers in the $4-billion deal to acquire Ranbaxy Laboratories. Ranbaxy’s average trading volumes over the last two weeks on the NSE stood at 51.73 lakh shares against the one-month average of 36.39 lakh shares.
The counter's volumes rose to 1.05 crore shares on Wednesday last week from a mere 15 lakh a day earlier. Thursday saw 82 lakh shares changing hands while Friday saw the highest volumes in two months, with 1.24 crore shares traded on the NSE. The Ranbaxy scrip has gained more than 25% in the last two weeks.
Sun Pharma said: “Sudhir Valia is not and was not a partner of Silverstreet Developers LLP when purchase of shares of Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd was affected by LLP.” Explaining how it has not violated insider trading rules, Sun further said: “Silverstreet Developers LLP has two partners. Both are 100% subsidiaries of Sun Pharma; hence, all the benefits flowing from the investment in Ranbaxy shall accrue to Sun Pharma.”
Silverstreet had increased its holding in Ranbaxy by 10 lakh shares in March quarter. Valia is the brother-in-law of Sun Pharma's managing director Dilip Shanghvi. On a conference call on Monday, Sun Pharma management clarified that Silverstreet’s shares in Ranbaxy will be ‘cancelled’. According to filings made by Silverstreet to the ministry of corporate affairs, Valia and his wife were partners in Silverstreet in 2011 but both of them tendered their resignation on October 9, 2013.
On Wednesday, shares of Sun Pharma and Ranbaxy ended 6.78% and 4.66% higher respectively, with brokerages upgrading their stocks. The Sun Pharma scrip ended at a 1-month high on the NSE at Rs 628 with Nomura, UBS, Axis Capital and Edelweiss upgrading the stock. The Ranbaxy scrip ended at a 3-month high at Rs 466.50 with UBS, Motilal Oswal Financial Services and Barclays upgrading it.