The list of mid-sized companies supporting first generation entrepreneur Deepak Kochhar's power venture seems to be a bit long. Surprisingly, most of these companies are based down South where Deepak Kochhar has business operations.
It now appears that Nupower Wind Farms Ltd, another subsidiary of NuPower Renewables, also has half a dozen corporates that have invested in its equity capital. Business Today had earlier written about the nine companies that have bought equity in Echanda Urja Private Ltd, another subsidiary of the parent NuPower Renewables Pvt Ltd.
In the case of subsidiary Nupower Wind Farms Ltd, the biggest non promoter shareholder is Chennai based India Japan Lighting Pvt Ltd, which owns some 7.78 per cent equity in the company. What is interesting is that private sector ICICI Bank has a banking relationship with this largest shareholder of Deepak Kochhar's managed subsidiary. Deepak Kochhar is the Managing Director of the unit.
The private sector bank has extended a long term capex loan of Rs 17 crore to this automotive lighting equipment player. This loan is payable in eight quarterly installments from 2017/18. There is also a ICICI ECB loan of Rs 26.49 crore , which is to be payable in 12 half yearly installments from 2014/15 to 2019/20.
The total exposure of ICICI Bank in this largest shareholder of Deepak Kochhar's managed subsidiary is about Rs 43.49 crore. Isn't there a conflict of interest or disclosure issue under the Companies Act?
In another subsidiary Echanda Urja Pvt Ltd, the equity shareholders are Hatsun Agro Steel Strips Wheels, Motherson Sumi, Zuari Cement, CavinKare, Togros Chemicals, Dhandapani Cement, TRIL Infopark and Shri Govindaraja Textiles. Chennai-based Hatsun Agro has the highest stake of 6.11 per cent followed by Shri Govindaraja Textiles at 4.65 per cent as on March 31, 2017. Some of these companies also have banking relationships with ICICI Bank in terms of loans and advances.
NuPower Renewables holds the majority 70 per cent equity in both these subsidiaries and Deepak Kochhar acts as the Managing Director .
While banking relationship of a corporate with a large bank of ICICI 's size is very natural, many raise the question of disclosures. It is not known whether Deepak Kochhar has disclosed the information of these corporate shareholders -about 15 entities - to his wife Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO of the bank. A mail sent to NuPower Wind Farms did not elicit any response.
The Co-founder and CEO of NuPower Renewables' Deepak Kochhar and ICICI Bank's Chanda Kochhar is already under the scanner of investigating agencies for a loan given by Videocon promoter V. N. Dhoot. There are issues of possible conflict of interest and quid pro quo against Chanda Kochhar as her bank is also one of the lenders to Videocon Industries. The ICICI Bank board, however, is fully backing Kochhar on this issue. The board has said that there is no question or scope of any favouritism, nepotism or quid pro quo.