Some employees in India are stepping up with investments to save the company and their jobs

A bird flies past a sign board of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd. (DHFL) outside its office on the outskirts of Mumbai, India, January 31. 2019 REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas
  • Debt-ridden DHFL’s promoters asked its employees to purchase its wealth management arm.
  • Swapnil Pawar bought out the India arm of the US-based hedge fund, which he was heading.
  • Employees of Jet Airways and Reid & Taylor too tried to take control of their companies.
The tables have turned as employees of troubled companies are saving them instead of quickly jumping ship.

One such rare case is that of Deewan Housing Finance (DHFL). The debt-ridden company’s promoters asked the employees of its wealth management arm WGC Wealth to purchase it. This is after a debt of ₹1.2 lakh crore mounted and its promoters are keen on selling chunks of the company.

Instead of appealing to investors, the company approached its own employees for help who came through. The deal has been closed today, according to a report by Business Standard.

Yet another financial services company employee Swapnil Pawar bought out the Indian arm of the US-based hedge fund, which he was heading.

Pawar who is also the founder of Asqi Advisors, told Business Standard that they intend to set up the company as an asset management services firm and expand it.

The number of employee groups who are stepping in to save or take over their companies is rising, as is the number of troubled companies.

The employees of the bankrupt clothing label Reid & Taylor India too had attempted to bid for the company. However, National Company Law Tribunal which assessed their bid said that the investors backing the staff were unable to prove their net worth, according to reports.

The many employees of grounded airline Jet Airways too had tried to bid for the firm, which too has gone into bankruptcy. However, no deal could be reached as the heavily indebted company eventually went into liquidation.

Most such deals take place in the financial services sector where employees play a large role. However, India has very few stories to tell where employees bailed their companies out.

In 1987, construction major L&T was once a target of a hostile takeover by Reliance Industries headed by Dhirubhai Ambani. Kumar Mangalam Birla was also one of the people who had purchased stake in the construction company, in an attempt to take over his rival in the cement business. As a response, its own employees set up a trust and purchased the shares back and gained control.

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