Four days after it denied that Ansal Hi-Tech Townships had issued post-dated cheques (PDCs) to secure investments by Peninsula Brookfield through subscription of non-convertible debentures (NCDs), the Ansal Group has accepted that the PDCs were indeed issued and that it “regretted” the “error”.
On June 13, The Indian Express reported that a firm linked to IL&FS had mysteriously “lost” PDCs issued by Ansal Hi-Tech Townships against investments of around Rs 200 crore by PenBrook Capital in 2014-15. IL&FS Trust Company Ltd — now called Vistra ITCL, post-acquisition by Vistra in 2016 — was the trustee company that held these cheques.
Responding to an email from The Indian Express on June 12, the Ansal Group said: “No PDC was issued by Ansal Group to secure the NCDs of Rs 200 crores issued and allotted by Ansal Hi Tech Townships Limited.”
However, on June 14, when this newspaper provided proof that the PDCs were issued, the Ansal Group said: “This is for your kind clarification that while going through our old records, we have also traced copy of PDCs, which were issued by Ansal Group to Debenture Trustee to secure the NCDs of Rs 200 crores issued and allotted by Ansal Hi Tech Townships Limited. The said information of PDCs was also given to the Stock Exchange today only. This matter was related to earlier period and our intension was not to provide any wrong information. Error caused is regretted.”
The Indian Express has also accessed the Debenture Trust Deed signed between IL&FS Trust Company Ltd, Ansal Hi-Tech Townships Ltd, Ansal Properties and Infrastructure Ltd and Sushil Ansal and Pranav Ansal (promoters of Ansal Group) among others on June 18, 2014.
The deed states that the “issuer has, pursuant to an agreement dated June 12, 2014, amongst the issuer and the Debenture Trustee appointed the Debenture Trustee to Act as the trustee on behalf of and for the benefit of the Debenture holders.
One of the terms of issuance of the Debentures is that the Obligations in respect of the Debentures be secured by way of Security created in favour of, and to be held and administered by, The Debenture Trustee for the benefit of the Debenture holders”.
It also specifies that the debenture holder is Peninsula Brookfield, who proposes to subscribe to the debentures.