One of the shareholders points out that a slump sale will not benefit minority shareholders. “If the battery business is hived off and shareholders are issued shares in the new firm then it would be different,” he says.
Other shareholders, however, felt the business should be kept with the group as it would add value. “What would be left with the
company if the battery business is sold,” a shareholder questions.
Eveready Managing Director (MD) Amritanshu Khaitan, however, does not confirm a deal with Duracell but says the company continues to look at opportunities and discuss various joint ventures or strategic tie-ups. “If anything develops, we will inform,” he says.
He, however, reassures shareholders that any major decision will require shareholders’ approval.
“It is not that only the promoters’ votes will be enough to get any transaction through. Therefore, when we will discuss about protecting minority interest, all shareholders will be taken into confidence. In the end, the company is not only of the promoters but also of minority shareholders,” the MD says.
A resolution to approve a transaction of sale will be a special resolution, which would require 75 per cent of votes.
Khaitan also says the management is fully committed to the company. “We are working day in and day out to see how we can revive profitability and deleverage the balance sheet. Hopefully, hard work should give good results. In the past also share prices moved from Rs 8 to Rs 400. So, business has its ups and downs.”
Shareholders had commented on the share prices that have been on the decline. The Eveready stock on Thursday closed at Rs 45.30 on the BSE. A year ago, it was at around Rs 200.