IRDAI’s show cause notice comes at a time when Go Digit’s IPO is yet to receive final approval from the SEBI even after it refiled its DRHP recently
The show cause notice alleged non-disclosure of change in the conversion ratio of the CCPS issued by Go Digit Infoworks Services (GDISPL), the parent of Go Digit General Insurance, to FAL Corporation
Last year, SEBI had put the IPO in ‘abeyance’ and Go Digit refiled its DRHP earlier this year
Insurtech major Go Digit General Insurance, which is gearing up for its initial public offering (IPO), has received a show cause notice and multiple advisories from the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) last month, the company said in a new addendum to its draft prospectus filed with the Securities And Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
The development comes at a time when the company’s IPO is yet to receive final approval from the SEBI even after Go Digit refiled its draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) addressing certain concerns that the market regulator had raised earlier.
Go Digit revealed that the show cause notice from IRDAI has alleged non-disclosure of change in the conversion ratio of the CCPS issued by Go Digit Infoworks Services (GDISPL), the parent of Go Digit General Insurance, to FAL Corporation.
FAL Corporation is a part of Canada-based Fairfax Financial Holdings, which is one of the major investors in Go Digit.
“In terms of the Notice, the change in the conversion ratio of 6,300,000 CCPS issued by GDISPL to FAL Corporation, from ‘1 CCPS for 2.324 equity shares’ to ‘2.324 CCPS for each equity share’, which was reflected by way of an amendment to the JV Agreement dated August 11, 2022, is a material change to the information furnished at the time of applying for registration to the IRDAI,” the company’s regulatory disclosure to SEBI said.
As per the notice, Go Digit was expected to provide the details of such change to the IRDAI but it did not furnish the “full particulars”. Hence, IRDAI has also alleged that the startup is in violation of Section 26 of the Insurance Act.
If an adverse order is passed against Go Digit and its officers responsible for the non-compliance, the insurtech unicorn would be slapped with a maximum penalty of INR 1 Lakh for each day during which such failure continues, or INR 1 Cr, whichever is lower, the addendum mentioned.
Besides, IRDAI has also issued certain advisories and cautioned Go Digit on a few aspects.
The advisory notice has been issued for failing to take the insurance regulator’s approval for the change in remuneration of its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on the account of the change in ESAR 2018 (employee stock appreciation rights scheme) to ESOP 2018 (employee stock option plans) and for failing to inform IRDAI of the retrospective grant of ESARs prior to the date of grant of the company’s certificate of registration.
“In the event the IRDAI is not satisfied with our responses or we fail to adhere to the advisories and cautions issued by the IRDAI, we may be subject to warnings, show-cause notices and/ or penalties in the future, which would, amongst other things, adversely impact our brand and reputation,” Go Digit said in its regulatory disclosure to SEBI.
Meanwhile, the IRDAI has also cautioned the startup to ensure due care and correct disclosures in the offer documents, of the position in relation to the commission on long-term policies and that acquisition costs incurred in the year, among several other advisories issued.
It is pertinent to note that Go Digit filed its DRHP with the SEBI in August last year. Within months, it also received the IRDAI’s approval to launch the IPO in November last year though SEBI had kept the IPO in ‘abeyance’.
In March this year, the startup refiled the DRHP with the market regulator for its $440 Mn, addressing the latter’s concerns about its ESOPs.
In the latest filing, Go Digit said its erstwhile Go Digit – Employee Stock Appreciation Rights Plan, 2018 has been amended and changed to ESOP 2018, pursuant to the resolutions passed by the board and shareholders on March 21, 2023 and March 27, 2023, respectively.
Founded in 2017 by Kamesh Goyal, Go Digit offers insurance policies across verticals including motor vehicle, health, travel, and property. Besides Prem Watsa’s Fairfax, the startup is also backed by prominent names such as Sequoia, cricketer Virat Kohli, and actor Anushka Sharma.
Go Digit’s IPO comprises a fresh issue of shares worth INR 1,250 Cr and an offer for sale (OFS) of 109.45 Mn shares.