Raymond Ltd's real estate agreements for JK House Ltd and an Alibaug property, which is used as a guest house, have come in for questioning from markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), which has written to the textile maker on the matter, Livemint reported on Thursday while citing three people with knowledge of the developments.
Further, according to the sources cited by the report, Sebi has also questioned Raymond on whether it made any related-party transactions that were not reported to shareholders subsequent to the market regulator's Listing Obligation and Disclosure Requirements (LODR) norms coming into force in September of 2015.
"This is the same old issue that is being referred to more than a month ago where we stated that Sebi had sought certain clarifications which have been duly addressed and we are compliant with all regulations. Since there is no new development in this context and the matter is old and already reported, this query from Mint does not merit any response," a spokesperson for Raymond told the financial daily in an emailed response.
Back in June this year, according to Moneycontrol, Sebi initiated a preliminary enquiry against the firm for alleged corporate governance lapses in relation to the attempted sale of JK House. According to the report, Sebi issued notices to the textile maker's audit and remuneration committee and the board of the company for not complying with requirements related to listing, obligation, and disclosure. Citing a source, the Livemint report added that Sebi had written again on the matter to Raymond in August.
As reported earlier, Raymond shareholders in June voted against a proposal to sell flats in the company-owned JK House building to the promoters at throwaway prices. "The shareholders voted against the resolution," the company had said back then.
At the 92nd annual general meeting of the company held at its registered office in Ratnagiri, the company had put to vote a resolution with respect to the sale of apartments in JK House. According to a 10-year-old agreement, the promoter family members were to get four duplex flats at Rs 9,200 per square feet. The move, however, had drawn the ire of proxy advisory firms and brought to the fore a legal battle over the property between the two factions of the family members.
Vijaypat has moved the Bombay High Court alleging that Gautam is refusing to fully honour an arbitration award over a property dispute among the family members. Raymond is yet to give him the possession of a duplex flat in the multi-storied JK House building in south Mumbai as per the award, Singhania has alleged.
In September this year, Vijaypat and his son Gautam's legal representatives informed the Bombay HC that the two were likely to meet to try and resolve the property dispute between them amicably as suggested by the court.
The reports of a possible sit-down between the father and son came after the court, in August, suggested that the duo hold meetings, along with their lawyers, to try and arrive at an amicable solution since the dispute was personal.
According to the Livemint report, the second letter Sebi has sent to Raymond concerns transactions related to the Alibaug property. In particular, according to the report, the markets regulator has questioned the property's lease deed and the rental agreement between Raymond and its two subsidiaries — Pashmina Holdings and Avani Agricultural Farms Pvt Ltd.
According to one of the sources quoted by the report, "Raymond’s expense towards Alibaug house on the company’s books could be in violation of Sebi listing regulations and norms towards related party transactions". The source added that "the multi-layered agreement and details" were not shared with the textile maker's shareholders.
"Appropriate disclosures...have been made in the Annual Reports of the Company from time to time," Raymond said in its response, according to the financial daily, adding, "Further, we submit that the Company has not entered into any material related party transactions since the coming into effect of the Listing Regulations.”