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Hush-hush tales from the world of stock markets, banking, corporate world and corridors of power

MC Insider: The latest scam, whopping IBC fees, curious case of missing Chetaks, who advised Harshad Mehta series and more

Last Updated: October 19, 2020 / 11:04 AM IST

RESOLUTION FEES

RESOLUTION FEES

This one had us stumped. Can the fees of a resolution professional be the decider in picking the winning IBC bid? Turns out it could be a factor, especially if the race is as tantalisingly close as the one in the insolvency case of a prominent transportation company. Word has it that the more favoured bid of the two has agreed to cover the resolution professional's fees. The other suitor who is struggling to make a business case of adding another Rs 2-3 crore is fuming. Understandable because every dime matters to turn around the company. Irrespective of the result, it's clear that resolution professionals have been making merry in the IBC era. In another case, a resolution professional was pulled up for charging a fee that was higher than the debt of the insolvent company.

MISSING CHETAKS

MISSING CHETAKS

COVID-19 disrupted supply chains of all automakers and Bajaj Auto has been no exception. The company had to cease bookings for its electric two-wheeler Chetak during the lockdown and is now ramping up production to meet customer demand. While the firm looks to expand the model’s footprint to 30 cities after the January launch, company officials stumbled upon something rather odd recently. Two units of the Chetak that had been sold could not be traced in the Indian market. Eager to get to the bottom of this mystery, the officials used the GPS locator installed in the Chetak, and guess what they found: both the missing models had made their way into the R&D facility of one the firm’s main rivals in Japan. Talk about taking a peer for a ride!

JET, SET, SLOTS

JET, SET, SLOTS

One of the popular folklores of the Indian aviation industry from the 1990s centres on how competition (read Naresh Goyal) prevented the Tata Group from starting an airline in partnership with Singapore Airlines. Circa 2020, and similar chatter has begun around Jet Airways, which has just got a new owner in the Kalrock Capital-Murari Jalan combine. Jet needs to get back some of its lost airport slots to restart operations. Problem is these slots are now with its competition, who are in no mood to part with them. This is where the lobbying prowess of the new owners will be tested. Do they have access to the corridors of power to push files and convince the folks that matter?

EXECUTIVE DECISION

EXECUTIVE DECISION

Two EDs are approaching the end of their stints at a regulatory body and buzz is that senior executives are not in favour of the re-appointment of one of them. Maybe it helps that this gentleman is said to be related to an official at a higher position and may have already got a go ahead. Also, we hear, a key stakeholder in the market would like the same individual to continue. There is one red mark on his resume though. In the previous regime, he was sent to a remote location as his seniors were apparently not impressed with his handling of a controversial matter.

MODERN FAMILY

MODERN FAMILY

A recent probe into a family, which has been at the epicentre of one of the biggest scams unearthed in recent times, has now embroiled another family, a prominent political one, from one of the bigger states. Recent transactions uncovered during the investigation indicate indirect dealing between the business family and a close relative of the political leader, leading to tensions in the political party as well. Here’s what makes the plot thicker. The leader's brother is said to have been called by the tax authorities and now his wife is under the scanner of another investigation agency. The probe officials are now awaiting approval from higher authorities to dig deeper. The approval though, may depend on the political climate, which could change post the Bihar elections.

DIWALI DEALS

DIWALI DEALS

Come Diwali and spring cleaning of homes is on the top of everyone’s list. But this leading fund manager with a wealth of experience is keen on cleaning up his portfolio instead. The gentleman has held onto more than two dozen of these mid cap and small cap stocks from the infra and cap goods space for more than a decade. And now finally, he has fallen out of love with these erstwhile darlings of D-street. A broker has been appointed we hear so he can exit all these companies where he holds sizeable chunks of shares. Season’s greetings in advance to him from our end.

OTT I-BANKER

OTT I-BANKER

'Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta' story is hitting upper circuits daily and is the toast of not only the Indian OTT segment but the market wallahs as well. The hit web series has been lauded for capturing a bygone era of Dalal Street and needless to say would have required painstaking research. Interestingly, the list of people thanked by the makers at the end of every episode, includes a veteran investment banker and deal maker who has floated his own firm, which recently got rechristened. We hear the banker, who shares a surname with the director of the web series, helped the team with the research for the challenging project. In fact, when not cracking deals, this banker is believed to be an OTT aficionado who consumes the latest content across multiple platforms. And that’s not all folks, he is also handling the OTT stake sale mandate for a media and entertainment firm.

DIVINE BANKING

DIVINE BANKING

As state governments mull over the reopening of religious places of worship, a leading private sector bank has joined hands with the board of a famous shrine up north and launched a special app. Lakhs of devotees grappling with travel restrictions will be a thrilled lot. That’s because the app allows devotees to watch live ‘darshan’, make donations and even get home delivery of prasad. The lender’s digital channels were down last year, upsetting many netizens. But looks like it has overcome all snags now. Divine intervention at play?

NEW DEAL HONCHO?

NEW DEAL HONCHO?

This private equity fund, a relatively new entrant in the Indian market, has gradually started flexing its muscles as it looks to build its desi portfolio. We hear it has set its sights on the pharma segment which has seen a flurry of transactions during the lockdown period. Earlier this year, the fund struck a key deal with a financial services firm which has been looking to get back its mojo. One of our several little birdies tells us that a former senior executive at a diversified conglomerate is now tipped to join this combine. It may not be a done deal yet, but watch this space for more...

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