Records as of March 2017 show DH Renewables Holding held 3.2 million shares, equal to a 54.99 per cent stake, in NuPower Renewables. The address listed for the company is Intercontinental Trust, Level 3, Alexander House, 35 Cybercity, Ebene, Mauritius, which finds a mention in the Panama Papers’ list of offshore entities.
Connecting the dots
DH Renewables Holding held 3.2 million shares, equal to 54.99% stake in NuPower Renewables
Its listed address is Intercontinental Trust, Level 3, Alexander House, 35 Cybercity, Ebene, Mauritius
It acquired convertible cumulative preference shares of NuPower from Firstland Holdings
Firstland mentions its address as Les Cascades, Edith Cavell Street, Port Louis, Mauritius
Both addresses of DH Renewables and Firstland find mention in the Panama Papers
This is shown to be the address of a trust company, which itself is a trustee of another trust, and there are two shareholder entities mentioned, both of which are under the jurisdiction of the British Virgin Islands.
DH Renewables acquired convertible cumulative preference shares of NuPower from Firstland Holdings, according to a 2014 disclosure.
Another document, which talks about the initial allotment of CCPS to Firstland, mentions its address as Les Cascades, Edith Cavell Street, Port Louis, Mauritius. This address, too, is found in the Panama Papers and is connected to entities, including an investment company and two other entities structured as trustees.
The Panama Papers involved the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) collaborating with over 100 media partners. They collectively went through 11.5 million files leaked from a key Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. It helped expose “the offshore holdings of world political leaders… details of the hidden financial dealings of fraudsters, drug traffickers, billionaires, celebrities…(and)…sports stars,” according to the ICIJ website.
The ICIJ, however, does point out that there may be genuine reasons behind such entities. “There are legitimate uses for offshore companies
and trusts. We do not intend to suggest or imply that any people, companies
or other entities included in the ICIJ Offshore Leaks Database have broken the law or otherwise acted improperly,” it said.
Deepak Kochhar said both Firstland and DH Renewables are vehicles used by Accion, (named in company documents as Accion Diversified Strategies Fund SPC). He said they would be best placed to answer queries related to them.
But queries are not being answered by the entities involved. An email sent to an address on Accion’s website did not elicit a response. Business Standard called twice on their Singapore office number, but these went unanswered. Intercontinental Trust, too, did not respond to either a call placed to their Mauritius office or emails seeking comment. No comments were received from ICICI Bank and Videocon Industries did not respond to the email sent. Videocon Industries Chairman Venugopal Dhoot did not respond to a call and a text message requesting comment.
“The address by itself may not mean anything as multiple entities can share an address in some of these offshore jurisdictions without having any relationship or connection. However, it may be worth examining further in the light of the recent allegations to dispel any doubts,” said J N Gupta, co-founder and managing director of corporate governance advisory Stakeholder Empowerment Services.