An affidavit opposing Larsen & Toubro’s petition for Court sanction for the L&T-Grasim cement deal has been submitted. The petition comes up for hearing at the High Court, Mumbai, on March 18. The objection, submitted to the advocates of L&T in the case, has been made by a Pune-based individual shareholder of L&T, Mr VM Raste, who says the deal is not in the public interest.
"I state that over 4,90,000 shareholders of the petitioner company and millions of units and policyholders of Unit Trust of India and Life Insurance Corporation and many others who are the real owners of UTI and LIC and other Insurance Companies, holding 40 per cent plus shares of L&T as on December 31, 2003, are being relieved of more than their undistributed profits of L&T during the company’s existence for over fifty years," says the affidavit.
"I state that the management of L&T has insisted and negotiated a scheme of arrangement where Grasim is called upon to sell its 14.95 per cent (though it owns more than 15 per cent - which is a takeover trigger holding) shares of L&T (non-cement company) and that too, at a massively discounted price of Rs 120 per share. Grasim naturally got compensated through at least, equally massively discount on purchase of cement business."
The affidavit also asks for permission for scrutiny of all the relevant papers. "I state that I wish to lead evidence, especially documentary evidence, to prove my objections." Sources at L&T said objections to its petition would not be a surprise as the company did expect a few to be made, in view of what had happened at its EGM on February 3 last month.