Promoter shareholding in UB Group companies dips

Promoter shareholding in UB Group companies dips
New Delhi:

Amid continuing uncertainty about the future of cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines, promoter shareholding has declined at the air carrier as well as at the two other listed companies of the UB Group.

Besides, Vijay Mallya-led UB Group firm United Spirits Ltd (USL) recently offered to sell shares as a promoter in another firm, Pioneer Distilleries, through a one-day auction at the stock exchange platform.

The total value of the decline in promoter shareholding in July-September 2012 quarter at three group firms—Kingfisher Airlines, United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd and McDowell Holdings—is estimated to be very low at about Rs 75 crore.

However, the promoter holdings in these firms have declined at a time when the group is said to be in talks to raise funds through options, which include sale of shares in companies such as Kingfisher Airlines and United Spirits. While the promoter holding at USL remained unchanged during the last quarter at 27.78 per cent, the same in Kingfisher dipped marginally from 35.86 per cent to 35.83 per cent, shows the stock exchange data.

However, the decline in promoter holding was significant from 51.5 per cent to 43.09 per cent at UB Holdings Ltd. The promoter entities whose holdings have fallen include Mallya Pvt Ltd, Kamsco Industries Pvt Ltd and Gem Investment & Trading Company Pvt Ltd.

At McDowell Holdings also, the promoters' stake fell from 45.02 per cent to 43.59 per cent between July and September. The reasons could not be ascertained for sale of shares in any of these three companies.

For Pioneer Distilleries, its promoter entity USL offered to sell about 7 per cent stake in October through an 'offer for sale' for an estimated amount of over Rs 3 crore. There were no changes in promoter holdings at four listed companies of the group—United Breweries Ltd, USL, UB Engineering and Mangalore Chemicals & Fertilisers Ltd.

The eight listed companies of the group together command market value of close to Rs 40,000 crore, while the promoters' holding in these firms is worth about Rs 20,000 crore. However, promoter shares worth about Rs 7,000 crore at these firms are pledged with various lenders. At Kingfisher, promoters have pledged 90.11 per cent of their shares, while the level of pledging of promoter shares is 97.95 per cent at USL, 96.97 per cent at UB Engineering and 88.67 per cent in Mangalore Chemicals & Fertilisers.

The level of promoter share pledging is 65.91 per cent at McDowell Holdings and relatively low at 11.84 per cent at United Breweries Ltd and 18.27 per cent at UB Holdings Ltd. While pledging of promoter shares has gone up at UB Holdings from 15.29 per cent at the end of June 2012, it has fallen from 66.99 per cent in case of McDowell Holdings. The level of pledged promoter shares has risen at United Breweries Ltd as well from 10.1 per cent during the same period.