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Sebi slams UK's HSBC arm for not disclosing info on 2008 open offer

Sebi slams UKs HSBC  arm for not disclosing info on 2008 open offer
Sebi on Friday 'reprimanded' HSBC Securities and Capital Markets Pvt Ltd for not making adequate disclosures on an open offer for shares of Global Offshore Services' made in 2008. Besides HSBC Securities, which acted as merchant banker, the capital market watchdog has reprimanded India Star (Mauritius) Ltd which had made the open offer. However, Sebi ruled that 'a direction in the nature of ordering the Acquirer to make another public offer is not warranted'.

Sebi Whole Time Member Prashant Saran said in his 30-page order: 'I reprimand the acquirer (India Star) and the merchant banker (HSBC Securities and Capital Markets Pvt Ltd) for failing to reach the standards of disclosures.'

The ruling came on a complaint filed by one Amit Bhagvatprasad Barot in 2012 that India Star failed to make certain disclosures while making the open offer for acquiring additional shares of Global Offshore Services. Barot as a trader had held shares of Global Offshore Services (formerly Garware Offshore Services) but had not participated in the open offer. In his plea, he had sought a fresh open offer. 'I note the allegation that adequate disclosures with respect to the persons in control of the acquirer was not made. However, it has not been shown that the shortfall in disclosure would have changed the decision of the shareholders who had tendered shares in the open offer,' Saran said.

Taking note of inadequate disclosures, Sebi cautioned that 'repeated violations by either of them would be viewed very seriously'. The open offer closed in 2008 and Barot made its complaint in 2012, which was almost four years after completion of the open offer.
PTI

PTI

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