Subhiksha, Icici Ventures and Premji

A senior official in the corporate affairs ministry told ET that “Icici Ventures wants a probe covering the entire working of Subhiksha to uncover possible mismanagement”.

This is amazing. Icici ventures has also said that the accounts for June 2008 has not been presented to the Board of directors. And yet in Oct, 2008 they found it perfectly ‘ethical’ to sell a stake to Mr. Azim Premji – at a price that ensured that Icici Ventures has NO LOSS ON ITS BOOKS. The persons who have ‘losses’ because of this whole transaction are Icici Prudential Asset Management company (of course SEBI says there is no public money), and Mr. Premji.

Then Icici ventures says “R Subramaniam is appointed by the Articles of Association as a MD so he cannot be removed’. With due apologies to Icici they should have seen this BEFORE they invested in Subhiksha, not AFTER. It is also difficult to believe that Mr. Premji was informed about this BEFORE he invested.

R Subramaniam has run the company aground – and there can be very little sympathy for him. However, can there be any sympathy for Icici ventures for not doing a due diligence BEFORE they invested? Or for Icici for doing a deal with Premji that they are holding a lemon?

Corporate governance, my left foot! What R Subramaniam has done in business language is used a poison pill – a new comer will not be able to take over the company, the company cannot do a public issue, the lenders will take the company to court, – it is a logjam. The vendors, employees, landlords, can all kiss their money good bye. Amen.

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3 Responses to “Subhiksha, Icici Ventures and Premji”

  1. A case of poor due diligence – both fundamental & financial by the investor. By June 2008, inventory problems of top two retailers were already known.

  2. I agree with AD. However it is almost no diligence. Such irresponsibility comes from handling other people’s money. However what about Premji’s lawyers? Assuming somebody out there though Icici would have done the basic due diligence, they should have at least checked. As a simple customer can I not go back and say – this is too basic, so I want to go back on my deal? Is there no free look in for Premji? It is a shame that Kamath and Chanda Kochhar the real powerful people of icici bank have chosen silence as a weapon. I am sure Premji will win if he takes icici to court.

  3. R Subramaniam has lived life by cheating others. He has cheated many of his landlords and his employees. He cheated many middle class share sub-brokers when his company Viswapriya defaulted on the Bombay Stock exchange. He then sold a dying business to his classmate – Indiainfoline. Indiainfoline may not be a saint, but got cheated by RS. Then RS had futher cheating plans – Matrix Asset Management co. – and sebi which knows everything was clapping on the sides. Maybe Renuka ramnath is a tough nut to crack – but Rs will prevail. He is IIt and IIM and featured in a rag by Ms. Bansal

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