The tax department is currently investigating Supam Maheshwari, the founder of FirstCry, for alleged failure to pay over $50 million in taxes. The investigation is focused on equity transactions carried out within the privately held company, as reported by Bloomberg.
Allegations and Investigations
Supam Maheshwari, also known for his positions at Oi Playschool and GlobalBees, has been served notices by the authorities. The tax department is looking into claims that Maheshwari did not fulfill tax obligations related to equity transactions. These transactions have taken place within FirstCry, an online baby care products platform.
Multiple Investor Inquiries
At least six investors associated with FirstCry, including private equity firm ChrysCapital Management Co and Sunil Bharti Mittal’s family office, have reportedly been approached for inquiries regarding this matter. The investigation shines a spotlight on potential irregularities in equity transactions, which are now under the scrutiny of tax authorities.
Supam Maheshwari is actively engaged in discussions with the tax department to resolve the matter. The outcome of these discussions could have significant implications for his financial and professional standing.
Implications on FirstCry
The investigation comes at a crucial juncture for FirstCry, which is gearing up for an Initial Public Offering (IPO). The company aims to increase local ownership and reduce foreign stakeholders in adherence to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) regulations. The ongoing tax probe could potentially impact the company’s IPO plans and investor sentiment.
Prominent Investors and Stakeholdings
Recent reports highlight that Indian family investment offices, including MEMG Family Office, Sharrp Ventures, and DSP family office, have acquired stakes in FirstCry through a secondary share sale. This move is in line with efforts to align with FDI regulations, with SoftBank diluting its stake to meet the foreign shareholding threshold.
The investigation into Supam Maheshwari’s alleged unpaid taxes underscores the importance of adhering to tax obligations in equity transactions. The outcome of this probe could potentially impact both Maheshwari’s personal standing and the business trajectory of FirstCry. As the discussions with the tax department continue, the business and investment community will be closely watching for further developments.
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