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Infosys whistleblower writes to SEC on company not filing form 20F

BusinessToday.In     June 25, 2018

Raising concern with the Indian and US market regulators over Infosys not filing form 20F this year, an anonymous whistleblower has written a letter to the US Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) and Sebi. According to a report in The Economic Times, the whistleblower claimed that India's second-largest IT firm usually files Form 20F during the period between May and June, prior to the annual general meeting and American Depositary Receipt (ADR) holders were made to vote on the financial statements without getting full information.

The letter reportedly asked the US regulators to question Infosys on whether any ongoing investigation with SEC is pending against it. "The company's undue delay in filing Form 20F with its deafening silence on any reason for such delay raises several questions and risks to the shareholders. I request you to require the company to inform the shareholders on the exact reasoning for the delay as well as confirm whether any ongoing investigation with SEC is pending," the whistleblower reportedly wrote on Sunday.

SEC Form 20-F is issued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and must be submitted by all "foreign private issuers" with listed equity shares on exchanges in the United States.

"Typically a company delays its annual filing with SEC only when there is an ongoing investigation by SEC. Also, recently the erstwhile co-chairman Ravi Venkatesan resigned from the board without assigning any reason. The shareholders have to know whether there is any connection between these two events and are they related," stated the whistleblower.

The whistleblower had earlier raised alarm on the acquisition of Israeli software service company Panaya. In April this year, the whistleblower wrote to the regulators asking them to take action against the Infosys board members including Ravi Venkatesan for "inconsistency" pertaining to its decision of defending the acquisition of Panaya and its approval to sell the company within a year. In an e-mail to Sebi and SEC, the whistleblower said that the Infosys has written down almost 50 per cent value of Panaya without assigning any reason.

Earlier this year, Infosys said it is putting up for sale its Israeli subsidiary, the acquisition of which had sparked a major controversy that eventually led to the exit of high-profile CEO Vishal Sikka from India's second largest IT major. The acquisition of the cloud-based application delivery and test automation solutions provider for $200 million in 2015 had triggered a major row at Infosys, with its co-founder NR Narayana Murthy going public over the 'lack of transparency' in the deal, which was concluded by Sikka.

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