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End-of-day quote Bombay Stock Exchange  -  05-26
1946.25 INR   +1.97%
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India's BharatPe to overhaul governance after co-founder row -sources

01/27/2022 | 11:36am EDT
Illustration shows BharatPe

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Indian IPO-hopeful BharatPe is aiming to quell investor disquiet over a public row involving personal investments by one of its co-founders with an independent audit to bolster internal governance rules, two sources with direct knowledge said.

The audit will assess if BharatPe's senior executives are making proper internal disclosures about personal investments and check for conflicts, leading to a new code of conduct, one of the sources told Reuters.

BharatPe, which allows shop owners to make digital payments through QR codes, has come under intense investor and Indian media scrutiny after co-founder Ashneer Grover sought damages from Uday Kotak, head of Kotak Mahindra Bank, alleging that the bank declined financing for a personal investment.

Kotak Mahindra Bank has in turn alleged that Grover has used "foul" and threatening language towards its employees and reserved the right to take appropriate legal action against him, a legal document seen by Reuters shows.

Grover, Kotak and BharatPe did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday.

Another legal document related to the dispute shows that Grover, 39, alleged that Kotak bank turned down his and his wife's request for 5 billion rupee ($67 million) to invest in the initial public offering (IPO) of an Indian beauty products company at the "eleventh hour".

Kotak bank cited "very high lending rates" among the reasons for refusing financing, the second legal document shows.

The first source said that investors have expressed concerns about the damage to BharatPe's image, adding that it was in talks with consultants including PwC and Alvarez & Marsal to carry out an independent governance audit.

Alvarez & Marsal and PwC both declined to comment.

Grover has taken leave from BharatPe until the end of March as a result of the furore generated by his dispute with Kotak, both the sources said.

BharatPe lists Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital and others as "marquee investors", without detailing their stakes.

Tiger Global did not respond to requests for comment, while Sequoia declined to comment on BharatPe's planned audit.

BharatPe, which competes with apps such as SoftBank's Paytm and Google Pay in India's booming payments market, is valued at roughly $3 billion and a filing for an IPO could be made within 18 months, the first source added.

(Reporting by Aditya Kalra in New Delhi and Abhirup Roy in Mumbai; Editing by Alexander Smith)

By Abhirup Roy and Aditya Kalra

© Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ALPHABET INC. 4.20% 2246.33 Delayed Quote.-22.46%
KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK LIMITED 1.97% 1946.25 End-of-day quote.8.35%
05/24Indian Indices Close in Red; Divi's Laboratories Slides 6%
05/17KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK : Group Unveils Private – a Comprehensive Platform for UHNIs and..
05/06Nomura Adjusts Kotak Mahindra Bank's Price Target to 1,935 Indian Rupees From 2,060 Rup..
05/05Kotak Mahindra Bank's Consolidated Net Profit Jumps in Fiscal Q4; EPS Tops Estimates
05/04TRANSCRIPT : Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited, Q4 2022 Earnings Call, May 04, 2022
05/04Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited Recommends Dividend for the Financial Year Ended March 31, ..
04/29Indian Indices Close the Week on Negative Note; Axis Bank Slumps 7%
04/20KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK : Trading Plan under SEBI (PIT) Regulations
04/12INSTANT VIEW 5-India's March retail inflation nears 7% y/y, at 17-month high
04/12Indian Benchmarks Settle in Red; Hindalco Industries Slides 6%
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Sales 2022 476 B 6 137 M 6 137 M
Net income 2022 104 B 1 335 M 1 335 M
Net Debt 2022 - - -
P/E ratio 2022 34,2x
Yield 2022 0,06%
Capitalization 3 864 B 49 805 M 49 805 M
Capi. / Sales 2022 8,12x
Capi. / Sales 2023 6,98x
Nbr of Employees 73 000
Free-Float 70,5%
Duration : Period :
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Technical analysis trends KOTAK MAHINDRA BANK LIMITED
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 35
Last Close Price 1 946,25 INR
Average target price 2 074,57 INR
Spread / Average Target 6,59%
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Managers and Directors
Uday Suresh Kotak Chief Executive Officer, Joint MD & Director
Dipak Brijmohandas Gupta Joint Managing Director & Director
Devang Gheewala Co-President & Chief Operations Officer
T. V. Sudhakar Co-President & Head-Compliance
Jaimin Mukund Bhatt Group Chief Financial Officer & Group President
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