Markets

KBL promoters face insider trading probe

Mumbai: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is probing insider trading charges against some of the promoters of Kirloskar Brothers (KBL).

An investigation by the regulator showed a few officials and some promoters of Kirloskar Brothers sold shares of the company on October 6, 2010 to Kirloskar Industries before the quarterly results.

Sebi said, in a notice to KBL, that shares of Kirloskar Brothers were acquired by Kirloskar Industries when unpublished price sensitive information about financial results of Kirloskar Brothers were not in public domain. Sebi has also sought information about the persons who were in possession of information regarding financial results.

Some top officials and few members of the promoter group — Gautam Kulkarni, Rahul Kirloskar, Atul Kirloskar, Alpana Kirloskar, Jyotsna Kulkarni and Arti Kirloskar — sold 1.07 crore shares of KBL, representing 13.51 per cent the total paid up capital of the company to Kirloskar Industries. The total value of this transaction was roughly Rs 275 crore.

Shares of KBL more than halved within six months of this transaction by the promoters.

In response to an email query, a KBL spokesperson said “We are unable to comment on any of them at this stage as the issues are being looked into by Sebi, a related matter is pending before NCLT and therefore the issues are sub judice”. KBL, in an earlier response to Sebi, had said the promoters did not possess any unpublished price sensitive information at the time of sale of shares.

But, in a more recent response to the regulators fresh set of questions on the matter, KBL revealed that the financial performance of the company was discussed collectively within the promoter group regularly.

It also said that the faction of the promoter group individuals were in possession of detailed financial statements of the company and such price sensitive information were circulated every month to the group of promoters by the finance department of KBL and the same was collectively discussed in the management operating board meetings.

KBL has further said that it was the groups practice to review and discuss financial position of all the group companies in a joint meeting such as Kirloskar Group-Management Operating Board.

Original Article