Regulator gives nod to exit route to dissenting investors
The market regulator also approved new norms for issuance and listing of green bonds in the stock market to help companies raise funds through such securities for investment in renewable energy space.
The move is aimed at helping meet huge financing requirements worth $2.5 trillion for climate change actions in India by 2030.
Sebi said the financing needs of renewable energy space require new channels to be explored which can also help cut the cost of the capital.
An escrow account would not be mandatory for issuance of such bonds, but issuer will have to provide the details of the systems and procedures to be employed for tracking the proceeds of the issue, including the investments made and earmarked for eligible projects. The same would need to be verified by external auditors.
Sebi also cleared an exit route to the dissenting shareholders in case of a listed company diverting from its stated objective of raising funds from the public. The new norms have been finalised after taking into account public comments on a draft paper issued in this regard last month.
Sebi’s decision follows a similar provision in the new Companies Act which provides that dissenting shareholders should be given an exit opportunity by promoters and controlling shareholders. The new provisions would be applicable on prospective basis for issues which opened after April 1, 2014, the date of commencement of related provisions of the Companies Act, 2013.
It would be applicable in all those cases where a proposal by the company for changing the stated objective of use of public offer proceeds is dissented by at least 10% of shareholders and if the amount to be utilised for the objects is less than 75% of the amount raised.
Sebi further said investors holding shares as on the date of the board meeting in which the proposal to change the objects is approved and those who cast their vote against the resolution would be eligible to avail of the exit offer.
The exit price would be based on the pricing parameters applicable in case of the exit offer given to existing shareholders in terms of Sebi’s takeover regulations.