Bandhan Employees’ Welfare Trust and Angshuman Ghosh, son of Bandhan Bank founder Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, together have bought a 25% stake in Nicco Parks & Resorts, the largest amusement park in eastern India.
Key points to note –
- The Trust owns 14% in Bandhan Financial Services, the promoter of Bandhan Bank. The Trust has around 3,000 members, mostly the old-timers in Bandhan Group. Bandhan Financial Services had formed Bandhan Financial Holdings as the holding company for Bandhan Bank , which owns 40% in the bank.
- The Trust has acquired 20% and balance 5% by Mr Ghosh.
- The stake has been acquired from Nicco Corporation (cable maker), which is in liquidation since 2017.
- The new owners have also made an open offer for additional 26% at Rs 30.5/ share.
- The West Bengal government, one of the promoters of the Park, holds about 25.85% in it through West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation and West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation.
Before the Covid impacted FY 21, the Park was generating a profit of Rs 7-10 crore on revenues of Rs 55 crore. With Covid ebbing, travel, tourism entertainment are expected to bounce back strongly.
On the face if it, it seems like a good acquisition. However, in general these are not easy businesses to own and run over long term. Whether it happened purely out of commercial considerations is anybody’s guess.