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Bajaj Holdings takes 3% in MCX

Palak Shah  |  Mumbai 

Rahul Bajaj-promoted Bajaj Holdings and Investment Ltd has picked a 3.06 per cent stake in the listing-bound Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX).

In a notice to investors, MCX indicated Bajaj purchased 1.56 million MCX shares from Passport Capital LLC. The deal would lead to a change in the list of top 10 shareholders in the prospectus, the company added.

Passport Capital, which operates as a hedge fund, was the fourth largest shareholder in the company with 2.5 million shares or 4.9 per cent stake as on February 10, when the company filed a draft red herring prospectus.

After this deal, Bajaj Holdings will take a joint ninth slot in the top shareholders list, holding an identical number of shares as Nabard. Passport Capital, with less than one million shares, will drop out of that list.

According to sources, transfer agreement between Passport and Bajaj Holdings was struck at Rs 800 per share, a fews days before the MCX offering opened for subscription. The source added the Forward Commission (FMC) is set to clear the share transfer.

Passport Capital had acquired these MCX shares in two tranches in the past, at Rs 860 and Rs 1,155 per share. Thereafter, MCX had issued bonus shares in the ratio of 1:4 to shareholders. After adjusting for the bonus issue, the cost of each share acquisition for Passport comes to Rs 900 plus, said sources.

HT Media, another shareholder with 0.2 per cent stake, also exited the company in the run up to the IPO, according to the above notice. MCX shareholders have raised Rs 663 crore in an offer for sale, pricing each share at Rs 1,032.

The issue is getting listed in early March.

In June 2011, Passport had sold 1.6 per cent stake for Rs 62 crore in Financial Technologies (India) Ltd, one of the promoters of MCX. Passport had been cutting its stake in MCX since 2009, when it held 10 per cent in the company.

Passport Capital had started building up stakes in Financial Technologies during January 2007, when its share was trading at around Rs 1,700. The hedge fund continued to build up stake in the firm as its stock price reached over Rs 3,000 per share and was trading between Rs 2,400 and Rs 2,700 during late 2007, thus, increasing its stake to 4.23 per cent by March 2008. The fund had later averaged out its investment by buying more shares after the financial meltdown in 2008, raising its stake to 10 per cent in March 2009.

San Francisco-based Passport Capital LLC, founded by John H Burbank III in 2000, manages approximately $4.7 billion in assets. It has invested in other Indian companies like VA Tech Wabag and Koutons Retail.

Other shareholders of MCX include Euronext, Merrill Lynch, IFCI, Intel Capital and New Vernon Private Equity, besides ad-for-equity investors HT Media and Bennett, Coleman & Co, among others.

First Published: Thu, March 01 2012. 00:47 IST