Ashneer Grover resigned after receiving Board meet agenda on PwC probe

BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover sent his resignation within minutes of receiving the agenda of a Board meeting on an investigation report by PwC to be held on Tuesday, according to the fintech unicorn.

“Ashneer Grover resigned as Managing Director and Board Director of BharatPe minutes after receiving the agenda for upcoming Board meeting that included submission of the PwC report regarding his conduct and considering actions based on it. The Board reserves the right to take action based on the report’s findings,” the company said.

Last month, BharatPe had appointed risk advisory firm Alvarez & Marsal and Big Four accounting firm PwC to probe alleged financial irregularities under Grover and his wife Madhuri Jain’s watch. Jain, who was the head of controls at BharatPe, was fired by the fintech unicorn last week.

In the wee hours of Tuesday, Grover quit as the managing director and one of the directors of the Board. Meanwhile, key investors at BharatPe have turned down an offer made by Grover to sell his stake for over Rs 4,000 crore if they want him to quit the firm, according to sources.

ALSO READ: The unravelling of Ashneer Grover’s fortunes: A blow-by-blow account

Grover seems to have valued the payments company at around $6 billion — far higher than its valuation in the last funding round. However, the fintech start-up was looking at a fresh raise in January this year at a valuation of around $4 billion, the sources said.

According to experts, any founder in the company might lose his or her stake in the company if the PwC report establishes fraudulent actions.

The articles of association (AoAs) also say that if the employment of a founder is terminated, his shares can be bought back by investors at a price lower than fair-market valuation. “The restricted shares held by such founder shall be: (x) bought back by the company at the lower of the FMV or the price paid by the relevant Founder for acquisition of such Restricted Shares; or (y) transferred to an employee welfare trust…”

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