Drugmaker Cipla promoters sold over 2 crore shares in the company or 2.53 per cent of its equity in a block deal at a price of ₹1,345 for a total aggregate of ₹2,690 crore. The shares were picked up by a host of global and domestic funds, exchange data showed.

Earlier in the day Cipla said in a statement that certain members of the promoter group had sold their stakes in the company for reasons including philanthropy.

“Ms Shirin Hamied, Ms Rumana Hamied, Ms Samina Hamied and Okasa Pharma Private Limited (all categorised as promoter group) have sold 2.53 per cent shares of Cipla Limited for the purpose of creating liquidity for specific needs including philanthropy,” the statement said.

One of the biggest buyers of Cipla’s shares was ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund, which acquired over 55 lakh shares for around ₹744 crore. Aditya Birla Mutual Fund acquired nearly 23 lakh shares for ₹309 crore. Other buyers included funds belonging to Ninety One, Saudi Central Bank, Axis Mutual Fund, DSP Mutual Fund, Eastspring Investments India Consumer, HDFC Mutual Fund, Société Generale, Morgan Stanley Asia, Investec Global Strategy Fund and a number of global pension and superannuation funds.

Post the sale transaction, the entire promoter group (including person acting in concert) continue to hold 31.67 per cent stake in the company and “remains committed to the future of the company,” the pharma major said.

The assertion on the commitment to the future is significant in the light of reports last year on the promoter group planning to sell a controlling stake in the company to private equity firms, which had reportedly submitted non-binding bids. The news was denied by chairman YK Hamied, and nothing came of it eventually as by then shares of the company had run up quite a bit making it an expensive proposition for any prospective buyer.

Earlier this year, Samina had said that she would stepped down as the executive vice-chairperson of the company (from March 31st). She continues as a non-executive director.

Samina represents the third generation of the promoter family. She said she was stepping down “due to personal and family commitments”. She is the niece of Cipla non-executive chairman YK Hamied, and the daughter of his brother and non-executive vice-chairman, MK Hamied.

Cipla’s shares ended up 3.6 per cent at ₹1,405.5 on the NSE.

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