Hero MotoCorp Ltd promoter Hero Group today further divested its equity holding in the company by selling shares worth Rs 944.76 crore, a day after undertaking a similar exercise for Rs 1,865.44 crore.
In a filing to the BSE, Hero MotoCorp said Sunil Kant Munjal, on behalf of Brij Mohan Lall Om Prakash (BMOP), the investment arm of the Brijmohan Lal-led Hero Group, sold 35.46 lakh shares in the open market today.
With the transaction, the holding of BMOP has come down to 0.93 per cent from 6.21 per cent stake earlier.
“The shares were sold by two separate sales on the stock exchange on February 18, 2015 and February 19, 2015, being 70 lakh equity shares and 35.46 lakh equity shares respectively,” the filing added.
In a separate transaction, Lazard Asset Management has bought 15.03 lakh shares in Hero MotoCorp today.
On Wednesday, Hero MotoCorp Ltd promoter Hero Group sold 70 lakh shares in the company for Rs 1,865.44 crore to fund diversification into ‘new growth avenues.
“In a major initiative towards diversification into fast growth areas, the BML Munjal-led Hero Group has divested seven million equity shares in its flagship company Hero MotoCorp Ltd,” Brij Mohan Lall Munjal-led Hero Group had said in a statement.
While the group did not share details on where it intended to use the fund, it has been linked with a possible stake purchase in Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Co.
Following the sale of equity shares, Hero Group’s holding in Hero MotoCorp is now around 34 per cent.
According to information available with BSE, the promoter stake in Hero MotoCorp stood at 39.92 per cent at the end of December 2014.
Yesterday, elaborating on the funds’ use, the statement said: “The group will use the sale proceeds to fund new growth avenues available through the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.”
The Prime Minister’s ‘Make in India’ platform has opened up new vistas, some in very high growth areas, and the Hero Group — with its experience, scale of operations and brand equity — is uniquely placed to leverage these emerging opportunities, it said.
Reiterating its focus core business, the group said: “The Hero Group remains strongly committed to its core two-wheeler business, where it sees enormous potential, both in India and overseas.”
Hero MotoCorp sold 6.64 million two-wheelers in 2014, including over 200,000 units in global markets.
The company’s shares closed at Rs 2,667.2 apiece on the BSE, up 0.14 per cent on the BSE.
In December 2010, the Hero Group and Honda had agreed to end their 26-year-old relationship, with the Indian partner agreeing to buy out the latter’s 26 per cent stake in Hero Honda for Rs 3,841.83 crore.
Earlier, in March 2011, two private equity firms, BC India Investors II and Lathe Investment Pvt Ltd, together picked up a 29 per cent stake in Hero Investments Pvt Ltd (HIPL) – a promoter firm of the country’s largest two-wheeler maker for Rs 3,650 crore.
The group had said the funds raised from the PE firms will be used to retire a significant portion of the debt that has been raised by HIPL for financing the acquisition of Honda Motor Company’s stake in Hero Honda.