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Sunday, December 7, 2008

KingFisher Airlines - Gopinath offloads some more stake

BANGALORE: Capt G R Gopinath, one of the bigger individual shareholders in Kingfisher Airlines, has sold some more shares in the company

And is now left with only his lock-in shares, which cannot be sold for a while.

His newly-formed holding company Deccan Emerging Business Ventures, which encompasses his chopper, cargo and hospitality businesses and which holds a stake in Kingfisher, has also offloaded a large quantity of its shares.

As per information available on the BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) website, the aviation entrepreneur held 3.71% stake in KF as on November 18, as against 5.41% as on November 3.

Information on the website reveals that for the quarter ended September 30, 3.65% of Gopinath’s total equity holdings in KF is under lock-in . It is not clear when Gopinath’s lock-in period is scheduled to end. Despite repeated attempts , Gopinath was not available for a comment.

Deccan Emerging Business Ventures held 1.16% in KF as on September 30, while it held just 0.56% as on November 24. Gopinath has been selling when the KF share price has been at a low of between Rs 23 and Rs 30.

When Deccan Emerging Business Ventures offloaded its shares from November 19 to 21 and then on November 24, the KF stock was trading lower by Rs 7 from when Gopinath started offloading his first lot of shares, which was in the first week of November.

The share price is down almost 35% since September, when the stock was trading at Rs 42.60. It had touched a 52-week high of Rs 335 on December 19, 2007. TOI had reported earlier that Gopinath had raised over Rs 6 crore by selling close to 23 lakh shares from November 3 to 7 and subsequently on November 10 and 11.

Since then, Gopinath has sold — on November 14, 17 and 18 — 2,493,656 shares mopping over Rs 6.85 crore. On November 19, 20, 21 and 24 Deccan Emerging Business Ventures offloaded around 741,177 shares to mop up over Rs 2 crore.

Investment banking sources say Gopinath is looking at raising funds in his personal capacity to kickstart his cargo venture. Gopinath is in the market to raise between $50 to 70 million in investments from private equity for Deccan Cargo . The company has made presentations to several potential investors including Premji Invests for a possible stake sale, but nothing seems to have fructified yet.

Sources told TOI that Premji Invests had turned down the offer, as it was not looking to invest in the aviation space. Given the current market downturn, private equity players are asking entrepreneurs to lay down a start-up amount before seeking investor participation, which is why Gopinath is seen to be offloading his stake.
Source: Economic Times

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