‘RBI spurned DBS offer to buy 50% of LVB in 2018’

Promoter group may approach SEBI

K.R. Pradeep, the single largest promoter of the crippled Lakshmi Vilas Bank with a 4.8% shareholding, said that Singapore’s DBS had been keen to acquire 50% stake in the lender for a high valuation in 2018 but that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) did not allow the deal to go through.

With RBI superseding Lakshmi Vilas Bank’s board and mooting its merger with DBS Bank India earlier this week, Mr. Pradeep also said he was confident that the central bank would be ‘kind enough to listen to all the shareholders and promoters, and will not let them go empty-handed’.

Currently, Mr. Pradeep’s holding in the lender— as well as that of the rest of the promoters and other shareholders, including retail shareholders who own about 45% of equity — has no value. Apart from Mr. Pradeep, there are three other promoter families — N. Ramamritham, N.T. Shah and S.B. Prabhakaran — who collectively own 2%.

The promoters were also looking at approaching markets watchdog SEBI but would wait for the final merger scheme, he said that the RBI will announce later in the day today.

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