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‘Abusive call’: Kotak plans legal action against fintech firm founder – The Indian Express

A legal battle is brewing between Ashneer Grover, co-founder and Managing Director of fintech company BharatPe, and the Kotak Mahindra Group over financing of the initial public offering (IPO) of FSN E-commerce Ventures, the parent company of Nykaa.

Kotak Mahindra Bank on Sunday said it is pursuing “appropriate legal action” against Ashneer Grover and his wife Madhuri in connection with the “inappropriate language” in a call allegedly made by Grover with an employee of the Kotak Group.

Grover’s law firm had sent a legal notice to the Kotak Group on October 30, accusing Kotak Wealth Management of allegedly going back on its assurances that the shares of FSN would be allotted to him and his wife Madhuri. The notice sought compensation for Kotak’s alleged failure to provide IPO financing for the IPO and allocate shares worth Rs 500 crore before the closing of the IPO on Monday, November 1, 2021.

On Sunday, the Kotak Group said in a media statement, “We would like to confirm that there is no breach or violation by the Kotak Group in any manner whatsoever. This notice was received by us and was replied to appropriately at the time, including placing on record our objections to inappropriate language used by Grover. Appropriate legal action is being pursued.”

In an audio call that had surfaced on social media last week, Grover had allegedly used inappropriate language and threatened a Kotak employee. However, Grover had denied having made the call. “Folks. Chill. It’s a fake audio by some scamster trying to extort funds (US$ 240K in bitcoins). I refused to buckle. I’ve got more character. And Internet has got enough scamsters,” Grover had tweeted.

Grover had earlier worked as Vice President of Kotak Investment Banking for seven years. He left the group in 2013.

The notice sent by Grover’s law firm Regstreet said Kotak’s refusal to comply with its assurances on financing the IPO was on the “pretext of” “erratic FII movements” and “very high lending rates”. Regstreet did not respond to the mail sent by The Indian Express.

FSN E-commerce (Nykaa) was listed on the stock exchanges in November 2021 at a huge premium of around 80 per cent. Nykaa founder and MD Falguni Nayar was also a top employee of the Kotak Group earlier.