Hook, line and sinker | Outlook Business
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Hook, line and sinker
The pledge-o-meter

V Keshavdev

Nikhil Gandhi, who has interests in infrastructure (SKIL & Pipavav) and education (Everonn) businesses, has been embroiled in controversies of late. His company, Pipavav Defence & Offshore Engineering (formerly Pipavav Shipyard), raised a few eyebrows. It allotted 10.5 million warrants to proprietary investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala days before announcing a JV with state-owned Mazagon Dock for building warships and submarines in September 2011. But things turned awry when the government put a hold on JVs of defence shipyards, after rival firms cried foul. The point of contention was that the JV would have got significant work from Mazagon Dock, which had an order of ₹1 lakh crore, without floating any competitive tender or competition. As a result, shares of the company, which has ₹2,512 crore debt on its books, tanked 23% to ₹66 (Jan 2). Compounding the bleak outlook is the fact that the promoter has pledged 97.29% of its total holding of 43.4%. 

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