Mumbai-based Authum Infrastructure and Investment hogs the limelight as the highest bidder for Anil Ambani's Reliance Home Finance. But not many know the people behind this Mumbai-based company which has a non-banking finance company (NBFC) license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The housing finance arm of Anil Ambani's Reliance Capital is currently facing debt resolution of Rs 11,200 crore under RBI's framework for stressed assets.
First the credentials of the promoters. Authum is majority-owned and controlled by Alpana Dangi. She is the wife of Sanjay Dangi, who was banned by the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), a decade ago, for charges of collusion with promoters and price manipulations in as many as four well-known companies. He was banned by Sebi without a show-cause notice or a hearing, which he had contested, challenged and later exonerated by Sebi.
Sanjay Dangi is also part of Authum Infrastructure and Investment as an additional non-executive director. In fact, he entered the company in April this year as a non-independent director. In his initial years, Dangi, a chartered accountant, had also worked briefly for Anand Jain, a key lieutenant of the erstwhile unified Reliance (before the brothers split).
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Dangi is known in the market for taking long futures bet in the shares of real estate Ackruti City, where the stock jumped from Rs 250 to Rs 2,300 in 52 trading days during 2009. The sudden rise in share price trapped some of the high-profile foreign institutional investors. Sebi later banned the futures trading in Ackruti shares, which led to huge losses for Dangi.
Alpana Dangi currently owns a majority stake in the company. A Bachelor of Commerce, Alpana Dangi claims more than two and a half decades of experience in the capital market. The company has taken a rented office in group firm Mentor Capital's office at Mumbai's Nariman Point. Mentor Capital had also figured in Sebi's earlier investigations and later got acquitted.
Authum doesn't have much to show in terms of performance in 2019-20 and 2018-19. It was making losses as it was heavily into shares trading, derivatives, and speculative trading. In 2019-20, the company had revenues of Rs 10.52 crore and losses of Rs 15.29 crores. Surprisingly, the company's revenues shot up in 2020-21. In the nine months (April-Dec of 2020-21), the company has shown revenues of Rs 194 and a net profit of Rs 90 crore. In one year's time, the share price of Authum has shot up from Rs 65 to Rs 530 per share. This translates into a massive rise of 715 percent in a year.
The company claims that it is focused on equity investments in listed and non-listed companies, private equity, real estate investment, and debt investment. In fact, group company Mentor Capital Limited is also in the same business. The final decision of the committee of creditors (CoC) will be out this weekend. Under the deal, the banks led by Bank of Baroda are expected to get around 40 percent of the debt of Rs 11,200 crore in Reliance Home Finance.
The bulk of the money will be paid upfront by Authum, which is making its bid the most attractive amongst the other suitors. The other bidders are Ares SSG, Avenue Capital, and Capri Global.
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