Nirmal Singh Bhangoo And PACL

wealthymattersIn just over 30 years, Nirmal Singh Bhangoo, the man behind Pearls Agrotech Corporation (PACL), which has been asked to return Rs 49,000 crore to its investors by Sebi by November this year, has metamorphosed from a milk seller near the Attari border in Punjab to the owner of 1.83 lakh acres of land around the country.

Bhangoo’s story is similar to that of Sahara group’s Subrata Roy. Both run business empires whose functioning is opaque. They rub shoulders with politicians and filmstars; have real estate projects and own hotels and make no bones about their wealth. Roy has hotels in New York and London. Bhangoo has bought a hotel in Australia’s Gold Coast and has built hundreds of homes in Brisbane.

Both have interests in sports -PACL has sponsored IPL teams and Kabaddi tournaments, while Roy sponsored the Indian cricket team and owned an F1 team and the Pune team in the IPL.Both run news channels and their businesses are in the hands of a few trusted men, mainly family members.

The Sahara chairman is currently behind bars, and has been asked to return┬áRs 24,000 crore (now Rs 37,000 crore with interest) to investors. In the coming months and years, PACL’s promoters may face a legal battle to avoid a similar fate.

Bhangoo has battled the stock market watchdog’s jurisdiction for 16 years while building a conglomerate of considerable size. The crux of Sebi’s case is that PACL is a collective investment scheme (CIS) that ought to be shut down. Read more of this post

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