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SMSes pertaining to FPO not issued by the company, says Ruchi Soya

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Ruchi Soya Industries has filed a first information report in Haridwar to investigate the origin of the messages doing the rounds on social media

Ruchi Soya

 Industries has said that the SMSes pertaining to  in its follow-on public offering (FPO) have not been issued by the company or its promoters. The company has filed a first information report to investigate the origin of the messages doing the rounds on social media.

“We understand that there is a SMS/message in circulation in social media, speculating about investment opportunity in our company’s issue and about equity shares of our company being available at discount to the market price. We wish to bring to attention of the investors that this message has not been issued by our company or any of our directors, promoters, promoter group or group . A first information report bearing number 0188 dated March 27, 2022 has been logged by our company with a police station at Haridwar to take up investigation in respect of the message, under section 67A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and section 420 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860,”  said in a newspaper advertisement.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has directed  Industries to give the investors who participated in its Rs 4,300-crore follow-on public offering (FPO) the option to withdraw their bids due to “circulation of unsolicited SMSes advertising the issue”.

Ruchi Soya, in the advertisement, has stated that the last day for withdrawal of bids will be Wednesday. The company has also issued an indicative timeline for listing of the new shares that are being issued in the FPO. As per the timeline, the new share will list “on or about” April 8.

Sebi’s diktat to the company follows a message circulated on social media which said that the FPO was a “good investment opportunity” and that the shares were available at 30 per cent discount.

“Great  for all beloved members of Patanjali parivar. A good investment opportunity in Patanjali Group. Patanjali Group company - Ruchi Soya Industries has opened the Follow-On Public offer(FPO) for retail investors. The issue closes on 28 March 2022. This is available in the price band- Rs 615-650 rupees per share , i.e discount of about 30 per cent to market price. You can apply for shares through your bank/ broker/ ASBA/UPI in your Demat account,” read the message.

In a letter to the three investment bankers handling Ruchi Soya’s share sale,  has said prima facie the contents of the SMSs appear to be “misleading/fraudulent” and not in consonance with the ICDR (Issue of Capital and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations.

Ruchi Soya’s FPO, which closed on Monday, has garnered 3.6 times subscription. The issue was undersubscribed in the retail category at 90 per cent but saw strong demand in all the other categories.

Shares of Ruchi Soya dropped 6 per cent on Monday to close at Rs 815. The company priced its FPO in the range of Rs 615 and Rs 650 per share – 20 to 25 per cent lower than the last close.

Baba Ramdev-led Patanjali Ayurved owns 98.9 per cent in Ruchi Soya, while only 1.1 per cent is with the public. With a miniscule free-float, there are doubts over whether trading in Ruchi Soya’s shares is leading to fair price discovery.

Following the FPO, Patanjali’s shareholding is expected to reduce to 81 per cent, while public shareholding will rise to 19 per cent. The move would help the stock discover its fair price, experts say.

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