Sebi bars SLB Invest from raising public money

Mumbai: Continuing with strict action against entities raising public money illegally, Sebi on Wednesday barred Odisha-based SLB Invest (India) Ltd from mobilising funds from investors and barred the firm and its directors from accessing the securities market.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) found that SLB had garnered Rs 5.22 crore from 1,436 investors through issuance of redeemable preference shares (RPS) and had “prima facie” violated various norms.

Market regulator observed that SLB’s issue was made to more than 50 people which, under the rules, made it a public issue of debt securities requiring compulsory listing on a recognised stock exchange. It was also required to file a prospectus, which it failed to do.

“I am of the view that SLB is prima facie engaged in fund mobilising activity from the public, through the offer of RPS and as a result of such activity has violated the provisions of the Companies Act,” Sebi Whole Time Member S Raman said in an interim order.

Accordingly, Sebi has asked SLB to “not mobilise funds from investors through the offer of RPS or through the issuance of equity shares or any other securities, to the public and/or invite subscription, in any manner whatsoever, either directly or indirectly, till further directions.”

Further, the company and its directors- Bairi Ganjan Dash, Saubhagya Kumar Mohapatra, Basudev Mohanty, Aurobindo Maiti, Baisalini Das, Rosalin Mohanty and Swati Satpathy– are barred from issuing any offer document or advertisement for soliciting money from the public for the issue of securities.

The company and its directors are restrained from accessing the securities market.

Sebi has also asked the entities not to dispose any of the properties or assets acquired by that company through the issue of redeemable preference shares, without prior permission from the regulator as well as not to divert the funds raised from public.

While asking SLB to provide a full inventory of all its assets and properties, Sebi has also asked the company to within 21 days from the date of receipt of the order submit all relevant and necessary particulars sought by the watchdog.

These directions shall take “effect immediately and shall be in force until further orders.”

According to Sebi, the company had mobilised over Rs 5.22 crore through issuance of 52,244 redeemable preference shares to 1,436 investors in the financial years 2009-10 and 2010-11.