HEADLINES:
September 23 2018
Hatsun, Zuari Cement held stakes in a unit of Deepak Kochhar’s NuPower
04 April 2018

T.N.-based firms together owned about 24% of Echanda Urja as on March 31, 2017

A clutch of 17 companies from auto parts maker Motherson Sumi to Zuari Cement and several Tamil Nadu based firms — including Hatsun Agro, CavinKare, Dhandapani Cements and TRIL Infopark — together owned about 29% stake in a subsidiary of Deepak Kochhar’s NuPower Renewables as of March 31, 2017, according to data available with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).

 

Mr. Kochhar, the husband of ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kocchar, did not own any stake in Echanda Urja Private Ltd. — a company engaged in electric power generation, transmission and distribution — but controlled the utility through his ownership of NuPower Renewables, which owned 70.95% of Echanda Urja, the RoC data show.

Chennai-based dairy firm Hastun Agro was the largest shareholder after NuPower in Echanda Urja, holding 6.11% stake, followed by Shri Govindaraja Textiles Pvt. Ltd. with 4.65% stake, according to the 2017 filings with the RoC.

Other shareholders included Loyal Textile Mills with 2.94%, TRIL Infopark with 2.24%, Dhandapani Cements with 1.91%, Motherson Sumi with 1.64% and Zuari Cement with 1.54% stake.

The amounts invested by these 17 companies in the NuPower subsidiary were, however, unavailable.

Conflict of interest

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) last month disclosed that it had started a preliminary enquiry into a ₹3,250 crore-loan given by ICICI Bank to Videocon Group and was also probing ties between Videocon Group chairman Venugopal Dhoot and Mr. Kochhar.

Concerns about possible conflict of interest may also arise from the investments in Echanda Urja as some of the shareholder companies have credit relationships with ICICI Bank.

NuPower owned 99% of Echanda Urja as on March 31, 2015, suggesting the sale of stakes to corporate investors was done in subsequent years.

The company’s equity capital stood at ₹2 crore, with turnover at ₹128 crore and net worth at ₹186 crore, as per RoC data.

Echanda Urja had total debt of ₹495 crore.

 

 

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