Get-rich-quick: Promoters who made the most of 2012

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 31, 2012 05:09 hrs

Habil Khorakiwala, chairman of pharma major Wockhardt, is on a well-deserved holiday abroad. The 70-year-old can look back at 2012 with a great deal of satisfaction - after a near-collapse following a wrong derivatives bet in 2008, Wockhardt bounced back in the tough economic year and, in the process, shareholder wealth in the firm went up four times.

The biggest gainer was Khorakiwala himself, with his personal wealth rising over Rs 10,000 crore in 2012, as he owns 74 per cent stake in the company. "Operationally, Wockhardt has always performed well. The investor community has, perhaps, now started recognising our performance. We believe the discount in our stock is still significantly less than that in some of our peers'. This, along with a new product development pipeline and our focus on growth and profitability, would result in enhanced value for stakeholders in the coming years," Khorakiwala says.

Not everyone on the list of promoters whose wealth grew in 2012 (see table) would, however, share that happiness. Vijay Mallya, too, is one of them. The year was almost a nightmare for this once-upon-a-time king of good times', but his decision to sell United Spirits Ltd (USL) to global liquor giant Diageo made sure he was on the list. The deal had a rub-off impact on all UB Group companies - the USL and UB shares rose 175 per cent in 2012. Even as his Kingfisher Airlines was grounded, Mallya's wealth went up by Rs 16,368 crore. It's a different matter, however, that there's little chance any of this money would be pumped into the debt-laden airline.

Among other top gainers was Jet Airways' Naresh Goyal, whose wealth shot up by 239 per cent, following reports his company was close to signing a deal with the Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways for sale of part of its 80 per cent promoter stake. The value of Goyal's considerable holding in Jet surged to Rs 2,800 crore from less than Rs 1,200 crore a year ago. Some other big gainers were Shree Cement's Bangurs (richer by Rs 5,000 crore) and Vivek Chaand Sehgal of Motherson Sumi Systems. Sehgal saw his family wealth increasing by Rs 4,100 crore. The stock of Prestige Estate, a Bangalore-based realty firm, went up 152 per cent during the year, making its promoters richer by Rs 2,840 crore.

Among conglomerates, the biggest gainer was Tata Sons. The value of promoter holding in the group's firms went up by 18.7 per cent, or Rs 41,764 crore. This could come in handy in the new year as Cyrus Mistry, the new chairman, draws up plans to grow the group's revenues to $500 billion (from $100 billion now) over the next 10 years.

Mukesh Ambani, who owns half of Reliance Industries shares, saw his wealth climbing Rs 22,721 crore, backed by a 22.7 per cent rise in his firm's stock price. Ambani, who this year had run-ins with former petroleum minister, S Jaipal Reddy, and the Comptroller & Auditor General, could expect good news as a committee set up by the government has recommended doubling of gas prices in the country.

There also was good news for other Indian promoters, such as those of Aditya Birla Group (wealth up 43 per cent) and for Mahindra & Mahindra (wealth up 46.5 per cent, or Rs 10,237 crore). The Bajaj family is also ending the year on a high note, with its wealth rising 50 per cent, or Rs 15,948 crore.

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