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Essar Energy non-executive directors quit ahead of delisting

LiveMint logoLiveMint 19-05-2014 PTI

New Delhi: London-listed Essar Energy Plc on Monday said seven of its non-executive directors, including the chairman and vice-chairman, have resigned as part of the Ruia family’s plan to take the company private.

Chairman Prashant Ruia and vice-chairman Ravi Ruia, along with non-executive directors Sattar Hajee Abdoula, Philip Aiken, Subhas Lallah, Steve Lucas and Simon Murray, have resigned with immediate effect ahead of Essar Energy’s delisting next month. Essar appointed Yogendra (Robin) Appadoo as a director of the company and said chief executive Sushil Maroo will continue as a director despite the change, the company said in a statement.

The resignations come a week after independent directors of the company, including Aiken, “reluctantly” recommended that minority shareholders accept an offer from the controlling Ruia family to take the company private. Ruia family investment vehicle Essar Global Fund Ltd had raised its stake in Essar to 86% a few weeks ago after winning acceptances from almost two-fifths of the minority shareholders since launching its offer in March to buy 22% of the shares it didn’t already own. EGFL offered to buy out Essar’s minority shareholders for 70 pence a share, well below the 420 pence per share Essar was priced at when it listed in London four years ago. The board committee last week said minority investors should accept a near-$800 million offer even though it believes the offer undervalues the company. The company boasts assets valued at $16 billion, including the Vadinar refinery and coal resources in India, as well as seven power plants in India and Canada. It applied on 9 May for delisting, which should take place on 10 June.

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