Pledge of shares by promoter entities

concerns involved, regulatory framework and need for additional disclosures

– Anushka Vohra, Manager |


It is common for promoter / promoter companies (HoldCo) to raise funds by way of pledging their shares held in operating companies (OpCo). This is known as loan against securities (LAS). LAS enables borrowers to raise funds from banks / NBFCs by keeping shares, mutual funds or life insurance policies as collateral. There are specific regulations issued by RBI with respect to LAS.

As on March 6, 2023[1], there are 239 companies that have reported promoter pledge on BSE.  Pledging of shares by promoter companies held in operating companies does not raise a red flag per-se, however one has to know, (i) the percentage of shareholding pledged by promoters / promoter companies viz-a-viz the paid up share capital held, that is to say the unencumbered shares, (ii) leverage at the group level; (iii) impact of default.

In this article, the author tries to highlight the concerns arising from pledging of shares held in OpCo by HoldCo, the disclosure provisions currently prevailing w.r.t. the pledged shares, and the need for additional disclosures.

Read more

Broken Pledge? Apex Court reviews the law on pledges

By Vinod Kothari, Managing Partner, Sikha Bansal, Partner and Shraddha Shivani, Executive |

The Supreme Court ruling in  PTC India Financial Services Limited v. Venkateshwar Kari and Another is significant in many ways – not that it categorically rewrites the law of pledges which is settled with 150 years of the statute[1] and even longer history of rulings, but it surely refreshes one of the predicaments of a pledge. Importantly, since most of the pledges of securities currently are in the dematerialised format, it brings out a very important distinction between the meaning of beneficial owner under the Depository law, and the right of the pledgee (a.k.a. pawnee or security interest holder) to cause the sale in terms of the rights arising under the pledge. Also, very importantly, the SC dwells upon the essential principle of equity of redemption in pledges and renders void any provision in the pledge agreement which allows the pledgee to make a sale of the pledged article without notice to the pledgor, or to forfeit the pledged article and convert the same as pledgee’s own property. There are also observations in the ruling that seem to give an indefinite time to the pledgee for the sale of the pledged property – this is a point that this article discusses at some length.

Read more