Investigation agencies examining links between NuPower and Essar
Investigations into NuPower, a company promoted by Deepak Kochhar, the husband of ICICI bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, and the investments it attracted have usually ended at a blind end.
Investigative agencies are looking at whether DH Renewables Holding Ltd, the Mauritius-based special purpose vehicle of Accion Diversified Fund that is the major shareholder in NuPower Renewables is related in anyway, directly or indirectly, to the Essar Group, according to two officials involved in the investigation.
According to the officials, neither of whom wished to be identified, while no notice has been sent to Essar in this regard, the tax department is in the process of writing to financial regulators in Mauritius to ascertain the true promoters of DH Renewables, and whether the Essar Group, or its promoters, or their relatives are behind it.
“From being a minority shareholder in NuPower, DH Renewables’ holding has risen to over 54%. This happened because successive shareholders have offloaded their stake in NuPower to DH,” said a tax officer who did not wish to be named. An Essar Group spokesperson expressed his inability to answer questions sent on Saturday, till Monday.
Investigations into NuPower, a company promoted by Deepak Kochhar, the husband of ICICI bank CEO Chanda Kochhar, and the investments it attracted have usually ended at a blind end— DH Renewables, purportedly a special purpose vehicle of Accion Diversified Fund, but based in Mauritius, which is, thanks to a bilateral tax agreement between the two geographies, the no. 1 source of investments into India.
Not only was DH Renewables a significant investor in NuPower, it even stepped in when another significant investor in the company, Firstland Holdings Ltd, promoted by Nishant Kanodia, son-in-law of the Essar Group’s Ravi Ruia, wanted to sell its stake in the company.
Deepak Kochhar has all along maintained that DH Renewables is an investment vehicle of Accion.
Matix Group, owned by Nishant Kanodia, has confirmed to Hindustan Times that its subsidiary Firstland invested ₹325 crore in NuPower between 2010 and 2012. The company exited this investment in 2013, by selling its stake to DH Renewable.