Public shareholders clear ICICI Securities’ delisting

Mumbai: ICICI Bank’s contentious bid to delist ICICI Securities (I-Sec) has been cleared by the broking arm’s public shareholders.

In the voting process that ended on March 27, investors holding 71.89% of the lender’s shares favoured the proposal, while those owning 28.11% voted against it, paving the way for ICICI Securities’ delisting from the bourses. Shareholders of the broking firm will receive 67 shares of ICICI Bank for every 100 shares held.

According to the stock exchange filings by the company on Thursday, 84% of institutional investors supported the scheme, while 68% of non-institutional investors opposed it. As of December 31, 2023, ICICI Bank held a 74.77% stake in the company, while foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) held 10.33% and 6.35% stake, respectively.

On Thursday, ICICI Securities shares fell 1.63% to close at ₹729. ICICI Bank shares gained 1% to close at ₹1,096.

The delisting bid had been opposed by a section of the minority shareholders, who were unhappy about the share swap ratio offered by ICICI Bank for the merger. Earlier this week, the private lender faced criticism for allegedly pushing minority shareholders of ICICI Securities to support the delisting proposal. Shareholders of ICICI Securities claimed on social media that the bank’s executives contacted them directly, urging them to vote in favour of the resolution.

In response to a query from stock exchanges on ICICI Bank seeking clarification on the matter, the lender said, “ICICI Bank and ICICI Securities have been undertaking efforts to reach out to equity shareholders with a view to explain the proposed scheme and the e-voting process with the primary objective of maximising participation in the vote. There is an overlap between the categories of shareholders and customers across both entities. The approach in the outreach was to explain the proposed Scheme and facilitate voting, and to not pursue repeated engagement if declined by the shareholder.”

ICICI Securities’ ₹4,000-crore initial public offering was launched in April 2018. The issue scraped through with a 78% subscription. The stock listed at ₹431 compared to its issue price of ₹520. Subsequently, the stock plunged by 56% to hit a low of ₹188 on February 5, 2019, following which the stock rebounded to record levels. After the announcement of the scheme of arrangements on June 24, 2023, the stock rallied nearly 54% to hit a high of ₹865 on January 31, 2024. Since then, the stock has declined 16%.

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