Dabur Promoters’ Takeover Challenged by Religare’s Independent Directors
Religare Enterprises Limited’s Independent Directors have accused the Burmans, who made an open offer in September to acquire control, of fraud and breaches in a letter to regulators like RBI, SEBI, and IRDA. This initiates a possible prolonged takeover battle for a business with licences for lending, selling insurance, and operating in the stock market. The Burmans have denied the accusations.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is investigating and has asked for evidence. JM Financial, the manager of the open offer, denies collusion. The Burman family, promoters of Dabur, acquired a 21.5% stake in REL and triggered a mandatory open offer. The independent Directors highlight regulatory breaches and argue for scrutiny of the acquirer’s “fit and proper” criteria. REL owns four key businesses, and its Independent Directors allege the Burmans’ material breach of regulatory obligations. The Burman family claims the accusations are orchestrated and false, diverting attention from legitimate queries. The family spokesperson emphasises their large investment office and compliance with financial regulations. JM Financial is accused of collusion, but the company denies any conflict of interest in its roles. The open offer is estimated to cost the Burmans Rs 2,116 crore if fully accepted.