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Ashneer Grover in talks to sell his 9.5% stake in BharatPe: Report

Ashneer Grover in talks to sell his 9.5% stake in BharatPe: Report

Ashneer Grover in talks to sell his 9.5% stake in BharatPe: Report
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By CNBCTV18.com Feb 8, 2022 1:30 PM IST (Published)

Ashneer Grover, co-founder of BharatPe, is in talks with investors to sell his 9.5 percent stake in the fintech firm, The Economic Times reported. Grover is rushing to close the secondary stake sale, which indicates that eventually the founder would be ousted from the company after the final findings of the independent audit are submitted.

Ashneer Grover, the embattled co-founder of payments platform BharatPe, is in talks with investors to sell his 9.5 percent stake in the merchant-focussed fintech firm, a move that could result in his full exit from the company, The Economic Times reported.

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Grover had landed in controversy last month for alleged use of inappropriate language against one of Kotak Group’s employees. After a leaked audio tape of Grover threatening and hurling abuses at the Kotak Mahindra Bank employee surfaced last month, the founder went on a voluntary leave of absence until March-end.
BharatPe initiated an independent audit, which had indicated egregious instances of fraud in the fintech. Risk advisory firm Alvarez and Marsal, which had conducted a preliminary investigation in BharatPe, had submitted its report dated January 24 to the BharatPe board, Mint had reported earlier. However, the board commissioned a comprehensive report.
Earlier reports suggested that Grover denied the allegations and asked investors to give him Rs 4,000 crore to leave the company, a claim that was rebuffed by the board.
“He (Grover) wanted to leave but hold onto his shares…but the board is trying to get him out without a payday,” one source told ET.
Grover is rushing to close the secondary stake sale, which indicates that eventually the founder would be ousted from the company after the final findings of the independent audit are submitted, two people familiar with the matter told ET.
At present, Delhi-based BharatPe is valued at $2.8 billion. Although Grover is offering his shares at the current valuation, he may be willing to settle for around $1 billion valuation, one person aware of the developments said.
“But finding a buyer won’t be easy considering the events of the past month,” the source said.
Although Grover is in talks with a host of investors, selling his shares is likely to be tough as investors hold the right of first refusal on the shares of the founder and tag-along rights. “These would need clearances which will be critical to this proposition,” another source told the business daily.
Neither Grover, nor Sequoia Capita, which is one of the largest shareholders in BharatPe, commented on the development.
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