Novartis AG will cut stake in Indian arm to meet SEBI norms

Novartis India today said its Swiss promoter group Novartis AG intends to reduce its stake in the Indian arm through a public issue to comply with the Securities & Exchange Board of India's (SEBI) regulations on minimum public shareholding in the listed companies.

Novartis told the Bombay Stock Exchange in a filing that it intends to reduce its shareholding in the Indian unit through the stock exchange mechanism.

"This will enable the company to comply with the minimum public shareholding requirement as prescribed under Securities Contract (Regulation) Rules and Clause 40A of the Listing Agreement," its statement said.

Under recently promulgated SEBI rules, it is mandatory for listed companies to achieve a minimum of 25 per cent public shareholding by June this year.

The shareholding pattern as on 30 September 2012 shows that Novartis AG holds a 76.42 stake in Novartis India.

Public shareholding in Novartis India stood at 23.58 per cent; of which 20.6 per cent is held by individual investors.