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Bank’s reply shows viral clip wasn’t fake ; Kotak Vs BharatPe’s Ashneer Grover issue

As per reports, Ashneer Grover, cofounder BharatPe has sent a legal notice to Kotak Mahindra Bank accusing the bank of failing to secure financing and allocation of shares in the hugely successful Nykaa IPO. Grover and his wife Madhuri Grover are seeking damages for Kotak Mahindra Bank’s inability to provide financing worth INR 500 Cr to subscribe to shares in the Nykaa IPO.

According to a MoneyControl report, the duo sent a legal notice on October 30, 2021 to Kotak Mahindra Bank’s MD and CEO Uday Kotak, as well as Oisharya Das, CEO of Kotak Wealth Management, Shanti Ekambaram, Kotak Mahindra Bank’s group president for consumer banking and KVS Manian who heads corporate, institutional & investment banking at the wealth management firm.

The legal notice has surfaced a week after a leaked audio clip in which Ashneer Grover is heard hurling abuses and threats. The clip was earlier dismissed as fake by Grover, but Kotak Mahindra Bank’s response seemingly authenticates it.

The couple is seeking damages for the potential gains they would have made from the Nykaa IPO had they been able to invest the INR 500 Cr. Besides this, the duo are seeking INR 1 Lakh towards the cost of the legal notice, according to the report.

An investment of INR 500 Cr would have seen a gain of INR 446 Cr as per our calculations based on this peak. The stock is currently trading at INR 2,005.70, which is still 78% higher than the IPO issue price.

Responding to the legal notice, Kotak Mahindra Bank said that it has sent a reply to the Grovers. “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 Mr. Grover,” a statement by Kotak read.

The bank also said that legal action is being pursued. “We would like to confirm that there is no breach or violation by the Kotak Group in any manner whatsoever.”

The inappropriate language referred to by the bank is interesting, since it seemingly authenticates a recent leaked audio clip allegedly featuring Ashneer Grover, where the entrepreneur and his wife are heard abusing a supposed Kotak Mahindra Bank employee, and also delivering death threats. The audio clip has now been deleted.

On January 6, the day after the clip was leaked, Grover had claimed that it was a fake and that he had been a target of a scam. He also alleged that prominent Twitter account Unicon Baba was trying to extort money to manage his social media reputation based on the audio clip.

“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 tweeted, but the tweet itself was deleted soon after, along with the original leaked audio clip.

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