Sebi settles Spicejet case with WL Ross for Rs 1.10 cr

Press Trust of India Posted online: Thursday, Sep 26, 2013 at 0000 hrs
Mumbai : Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross- headed global private equity group WL Ross has paid Rs 1.10 crore to settle long-running Sebi proceedings with regard to purchase of shares in Indian carrier SpiceJet.

WL Ross had acquired controlling stake in low-cost carrier Spicejet in August, 2008, but later sold it to Kalanithi Maran-led Sun Group in June, 2010. As on June quarter, Marans held 52.14 per cent stake in the airline.

Market regulator Sebi was probing suspected violations by WL Ross entities with regard to takeover norms, including alleged failure to make a public announcement to acquire shares of Spicejet and suppression of information from the regulator and the public at large.

In 2011, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) had initiated adjudication proceedings against WL Ross group entities -- WLR Recovery III (India), WLR Recovery IV/ESC (India), India Asset Recovery Fund and WLR/GS (India) -- over the alleged violations.

While the adjudication proceedings were in progress, the entities had filed for a settlement plea in 2012 with Sebi under the regulator's consent order mechanism.

The entities had offered an amount of Rs 1.10 crore as part of the settlement terms.

The consent terms were approved by Sebi's High Powered Advisory Committee (HPAC) and the panel of whole time members, this year.

Accordingly, the WL R entities have remitted the consent amount on August 13, 2013, said a Sebi consent order today.

Sebi said it is disposing of the adjudication proceedings initiated against the entities with immediate effect.

The market watchdog said that enforcement actions, including commencing or reopening of the proceedings, could be initiated if any representation made by WL R entities is found to be untrue.