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Wednesday, Mar 03, 2004

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Funds' move to trigger open offer for Matrix

C.R. Sukumar

Hyderabad , March 2

`THE `mode of acquisition' of equity holding in Matrix Laboratories Ltd by two global funds - the US-based NewBridge Capital and the Singapore Government-owned Temasek Holdings — is heading towards triggering an open offer to the Matrix shareholders.

As against the earlier proposal of picking up stake in Matrix `independently' on a preferential allotment basis, both the foreign investment funds are now planning to acquire the holding in Matrix Labs by `acting in concert'. This will result in their holding crossing the threshold limit of 15 per cent stipulated by the securities market regulator.

Matrix had decided to offer 22.5 lakh shares at a price of Rs 1,500 per share to NewBridge and Temasek on preferential offer basis. On the Matrix's expanded equity base of Rs 14.55 crore, the combined holding of the foreign funds amounts to 15.4 per cent. The deal fetches Rs 337.5 crore to the company.

Shareholders recently approved a resolution to allot shares independently to each of these global investment funds. The company had informed its shareholders that the proposed allottees were `not acting in concert' and the acquisition of shares was being made `independently'.

However, Matrix has informed the regulators that, "NewBridge Capital and Temasek Holdings have since informed the company that they have now decided and agreed to co-operate for the common object of acquiring the shares through the preferential allotment."

Both NewBridge and Temasek have informed the Matrix Labs that "if NewBridge and its affiliates (through their investment vehicle India NewBridge Investments Ltd) and Temasek (through their investment vehicle Maxwell Mauritius Pte Ltd) agree to decide to acquire the shares of the company such that their combined shareholding equals to or exceeds 15 per cent of the company's paid-up equity share capital pursuant to the preferential allotment or otherwise, they would together make an open offer in accordance with the SEBI regulations."

In view of this, Matrix Labs is now planning to convene a fresh extraordinary general meeting on March 26 to seek the consent of shareholders for the allotment of shares to the two global investment funds while superseding the earlier resolution.

More Stories on : Mergers & Acquisitions | Preferential Allotments | Pharmaceuticals

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