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SEBI has permitted, HSBC to not make the open offer, after it buys a little over 20% equity in UTI Bank from CDC Capital Partners. The takeover code is driven by voting rights. Private banks have a 10% cap on voting rights, while the open offer under the takeover code gets triggered if the shareholding touches 15%. In the past, acquirers in other private banks like Dhanlakshmi and ING Vysya were exempted from open offers.

The open offer following the secondary market deal was supposed to open on January 31. The open offer was priced at Rs 90 a share, which is way below the present levels of UTI Bank scrip at Rs 150-160 level.

HSBC will first acquire 14.71% shares followed by another 5.37% equity bloc three months later. The shares will be transferred from CDC to HSBC only after the Reserve Bank of India gives itís clearance. According to a 2000 circular, a prior permission of RBI is required for buying 5% or move equity in a private bank.

On December 2, HSBC announced the deal with CDC and South Asia Regional Fund to acquire UTI Bank shares. At Rs 90 a share, the total consideration works out to Rs 306 crore for the first bloc and Rs 112 crore for the balance 5.71%.

The acquisition, which according to HSBC is an investment, is being made through one of HSBC subsidiaries, HSBC Asia Pacific Holdings (UK). CDC also holds the UTI Bank stake through its subsidiary CDC Financial Services (Mauritius).

.... Click for Mergers & Acquistions Section
.... Ceiling of foreign investments in private banks raised

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