Both the Khaitans tendered their resignations at a board meeting chaired by Roshan Joseph. It is also learnt that two Burman family members — Dabur India vice-chairman Mohit Burman, and his cousin Anand — are likely to join the Eveready board in the near future. The Dabur owners have already sought three board berths and the post of the chairman in Eveready.
According to sources, the chairman will be picked from the Burman family, which would be non-executive in nature, while the MD will be a professional.
On Thursday, the board elevated Suvomoy Saha as the MD of Eveready. He was the joint MD of the dry cell battery leader in the country.
In a letter to the board, former MD Amritanshu said it would be appropriate for him to step down since the Burman family — as the largest shareholder — has expressed interest to take management control and appoint a new leadership for providing direction to the company. However, he also said, “I will continue to be a long-term stakeholder of the company and participate in future growth plans.” Amritanshu also thanked Eveready’s employees, saying that he has had the privilege to lead a fantastic team for the last 10 years and he is grateful to each member of the company. He hoped that the new leadership will deliver greater success in terms of a higher top line and bottom line growth.
Amritanshu is the grandson of B M Khaitan, better known as BMK, the founder of Williamson Magor Group, while Aditya is the younger son of the late industry tycoon, who built the group brick by brick. BMK had fought a long battle with Nusli Wadia’s Bombay Dyeing to acquire Eveready for Rs 300 crore in early 1990s after Union Carbide left India.
“This is to further inform that Aditya Khaitan and Amritanshu Khaitan have tendered their resignations from the board, as non-executive director and CMD of the company, respectively, from March 3, 2022, in view of the expression of interest (EoI), to enable the company to benefit from new leadership and direction,” the company said in a stock exchange filing.
Over the last three days, Mohit had made it clear that a change in leadership in the company is required and they (the Burmans) can provide such leadership.
Also, both Dabur and Eveready would function independently as this is a personal investment of the Burman family and it has nothing to do with Dabur India, he clarified.
Mohit also felt that the current shareholding structure of Eveready is not tenable. Now Khaitans, the promoters that run the company, have 4.8% in Eveready. Five Burman family-run investment companies came out with the open offer on Monday for an additional 26% stake in Eveready for Rs 605 crore. The offer price is Rs 320 per share. The Burmans had appointed JM Financial for managing the issue.
According to the filing by JM Financial, the Burmans came out with an open offer despite the fact that their shareholding was less than 25% (currently 19.8%) because they placed an order for over 38 lakh shares for a little over Rs 122 crore (amounting to 5.2% stake).
The Delhi-based group has been acquiring shares of Eveready since 2020.