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Shishir's Bajaj Auto stake on the block

Virendra Verma
Dinesh Narayanan

MUMBAI, Dec. 3

MR Shishir Bajaj, estranged scion of the Bajaj family, is understood to have put his shareholding in group flagship Bajaj Auto on the block at a premium of more than 20 per cent.

According to sources, Mr Shishir Bajaj, brother of Mr Rahul Bajaj, has given the mandate of selling his 6 per cent stake in the auto company to Bank of America. The sources said a couple of foreign investors as well as mutual funds are interested in picking up the stake. The indicative price is understood to be in the range of Rs 565 to Rs 590 per share.

The upper band of the price range is Rs 110 more than Tuesday's closing price of Rs 479.90 on the BSE. Bajaj Auto closed at Rs 479.45 on the NSE on Tuesday.

The Bajaj family has been plagued by infighting over the past couple of months, with Mr Shishir Bajaj asking other family members to buy him out of the company as he wanted an exit from Bajaj Auto to consolidate his position in his other two companies, Bajaj Healthcare and Bajaj Hindustan Ltd. He had reportedly asked an astronomical sum for his stake in Bajaj Auto, a demand his brothers had rejected. The Bajaj family is reportedly split with Mr Shishir Bajaj on one side and Mr Rahul Bajaj, Mr Neeraj Bajaj, Mr Shekhar Bajaj and Ms Madhur Bajaj on the other.

According to the shareholding information available on the BSE, the promoters and persons acting in concert hold about 29.17 per cent stake in the company.

Bajaj family sources told Business Line that even though Mr Shishir Bajaj has 6 per cent stake in the company, he cannot sell the entire holding because it is held by the holding company, Bajaj Sevashram. "He can sell only 1.5 per cent stake which is his personal holding. The rest (4.5 per cent) is by virtue of his stake in the holding company, Bajaj Sevashram, which is controlled by the other members of the family," said the source. However, the family is unlikely to buy him out at a premium to the market price as his position is "quite weak", he said.

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