Given the huge oppurtunity which the sector presents , i decided to have a look at the listed entities in the sectors , Here are my findings so far based on some of the companies i have looked at :
Careerpoint : In private tutorial segment with good oppurtunity for growth and scale . numbers and valuations looked good at CMP, almost decided to buy then started looking at the red herring prospectus which company had filed for its IPO :
The company and the promoters seems to have been involved in quite a few litigations
Sl.No. Name of entity/person Civil case Criminal case*
1). Company 48 18
2). Promoters Directors
Mr. Pramod Maheshwari 12 1
Mr. Nawal Kishore Maheshwari 5 Nil
Mr. Om Prakash Maheshwari 2 3
Most of the civil cases/litigations are filed by consumers related to the quality of service . they are typically along the lines like changing of faculties midway through the course , services not delivered as promised etc , this i guess are par for the course for a typical services company so can be disregarded to some extent but what caught my eye is run-ins with the tax department .one excerpt below
âThe income tax authorities have carried out search and seizure operations in the premises of our Company and the residential premises of our Promoters and Mr. Shailendra Maheshwari. During these operations one of our Promoters, Mr. Om Prakash Maheshwari, inter alia, accepted unaccounted income of our Company, the Promoters and their relatives amounting to Rs. 60 million (approx.). These operations have resulted in notices being issued by the income tax authorities, service tax authorities and the RoC seeking certain clarifications and information from us. Any adverse outcome from such proceedings, may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operation"
*criminal cases are filed by the company against different entities
MT educare : Business looks good , company is debt free and has negative working capital ! but there are few red flags pertaining to related party transactions which company has indulged in :
MT educare has entered in to service agreement with MT Educare Charitable Trust(affiliated to promoter Mahesh shettybut not linked to the listed entity) to set up a college in managalore on land which mt educare owns but leased out to trust for 30 years to the trust . agreement seems to be loaded in favour of the trust with clauses like :
MT educare to Complete construction of the college in a tight deadline (2 years ?)
MT educare would assist in getting atleast 800 studen admission for the first academic year .
For its trouble MT educare will recieve service fee per student which is contingent upon it meeting the above conditions , if it does not meet the conditions the trust (and only the trust?)has right to revise the service fees .a good chunk of ipo proceeds (22 crore) were used for this construction . Somehow the whole deal seems fishy. Additionally , the land itself seems to be involved in litigations.
Advisory services agreement with Prosynapse Consultants, a company owned by independant directory of the company Dr. Chhaya Shastri, she owns about 5% of the company. Prosynapse is supposedly helping with the company’s growth strategies and expansion. A Fee of Rs. 76 lakh was paid for last year and advisory agreement has term of 5 years . i cant find any reference to Prosynapse except in relation to mt educare so not clear on what the company does except its association to mt educare .
Educom : i guess this is the most (in)famous one . after scaling great heights and going above and beyond bubble terroritory stock crashed .Tax raids in 2011 across most of its premises for tax evasion,Allegations of “aggressive” accounting etc. Despite recent PE infusions decided to avoid .
Everron : erstwhile Promoter/MD arrested on charges of tax evasion of 116 crores. MD and his family ousted from the board but difficult to ascertain how much of “taint” still remains. stopped exploring further after this red flag
i plan to look at tree house and other companies in the sector but somewhat discouraged by findings so far, General trend seems to be its attracting kind of promoters you normally see in real estate.
Interested in hearing everyone’s thoughts