“Lost shares” is a term that is difficult to understand for investors to the very contradiction in its name. Is it a loss of physical share certificate which can be recovered? Or is it something else? Well recovery of lost shares from IEPF does not mean lost physical share certificate recovery. The procedure for recovery of the lost physical share certificate is different. From IEPF one can recover dormant or forgotten shares.
The obvious question is how do the ACC shares become dormant? Why do people leave the ACC shares and do not claim dividends on them? In the following sections, we will be answering all such questions. We will also be learning about the way to claim dividends from IEPF with the help of legal consultancy firms in the latter half of the blog. Let us start with the history of ACC to understand how its value has grown over the years and how even its old shares are able to fetch loads of profit for the investors.
Growth History of ACC Ltd.
ACC Limited has been one of the market leaders in the cement and concrete manufacturing sector of the Indian market. The company has been engaged in manufacturing cement and ready mixed concrete since its inception. The Company manufactures a variety of cement including Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), Portland Slag Cement (PSC), Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC), and Ready Mixed Concrete (RMX). Its products also include premium cement and bulk cement. The Company’s products are sold in the market with brand names such as ACC-Supercrete, ACC-Speedcrete, ACC-Jet-setcrete, ACC-Feathercrete, ACC-Coolcrete, ACC-Imprintcrete, ACC-Flowcrete, and ACC-Fibrecrete. The Company boasts almost 20 cement manufacturing facilities across the country and has more than 50 plants for producing ready mixed concrete. It has a distribution network that consists of over 9,000 dealers with a wide range of sales offices. The company’s special product named ACC-Speedcrete comes in two variants to assist with quick road solutions. The variants are named UTWT 24 and UTWT 8. The variant UTWT 24 is used to build roads and can easily dry within 24 hours to open it for traffic. The variant UTWT 8 is mostly used for road repair works where the roads are needed to be opened in less time and it only takes up to 8 hours for drying and making the road open for traffic.
Over the years, with its assortment of products, the company has made huge profits in the market and has made a name for itself. It was founded in 1936 by merging 10 cement companies of that time as Associated Cement Companies Limited. Currently, the company works under the Swiss cement giant Holcim and has been called ACC Ltd. since 2004. The estimated revenue showed a growth trend with a value of 2.2 billion US dollars even in the slowdown induced by the COVID. However, the operating income was affected a little in 2020 standing at Rs. 2124 crore. The company’s total assets are worth US dollar 2.4 billion in 2020.
In the following section, we will show the growth of ACC shares bought in the 90s as per today’s standard. The calculations will show you how even a small amount invested in ACC from the 90s could have grown manifolds to make fortune for the investors.
- Suppose you bought 100 shares of ACC in April 1994 which were worth Rs. 204.23 per share at that time.
That makes your total investment to be 204.23 x 100 = Rs. 20423.
- Now, this amount is not a huge amount to invest for a regular investor who keeps multiple companies in their portfolio.
- Over the years the share prices of the company grew, and it announced bonus shares in 1996in the ratio of 3:5.
[Bonus shares are like a gift from the company to its investors for trusting the company with their money. These are fully paid-up shares issued by the company in the name of the client. Issuing bonus shares in the ratio 3:5 simply meant that for every 3 shares owned by the investor, ACC issued 5 shares].
The bonus history of ACC is given in the following table:
|Announcement Date||Bonus Ratio||Record Date||Ex-Bonus Date|
|02/04/1996||3 : 5||06/07/1996||10/06/1996|
|04/10/1992||2 : 5||06/11/1992||09/10/1992|
|11/06/1986||1 : 5|
- The issue of bonus shares meant that 100 shares owned by the investor have now become 167 shares due to the ratio of 3:5.
- Now, due to the steep increase in the price of the ACC shares, the company announced a stock split in the ratio 1:10 to accommodate the small retail investors.
A stock split is done to reduce the shares’ face value by dividing the existing shares in equal numbers and same price and reducing the cost of shares in proportion. So, the net value of overall shares remains the same but the number of shares goes up and the corresponding price of the share goes down.
- The stock split in the ratio 1:10 meant that the number of shares bought by the client in 1994 has now become 1670.
- However, the price per share of ACC has continued its share growth immensely since then and now the prices in March 2021 stand at a whopping Rs. 1903.25.
- So, the value of investment of shareholder as per today’s value would be 1670 shares x Rs. 1903.25 = Rs. 31,78, 427.50.
So, you have seen how the prices of ACC shares bought in 1994 at around Rs. 20k grew up to be almost Rs. 32 Lakhs. This huge share growth could have been even more if the shares were bought from the 80s as the companies have issued bonus shares twice in the 80s and 90s before 1996. This shows that the value of small investments by grandpa or the physical share certificates from years ago could be tremendous in modern times.
Mind that we have not added the dividend parts of the shares for the said time duration to the income. If we add those heavy dividends too, then the income from the shares will be even bigger. Even after deducting all the cost for claiming shares and other expenses, the final amount which the investor will get from claiming the old investment of ACC from IEPF will be huge. So if you find any old share certificate from your elders or parents then do not just keep them thinking they have been dormant. Research about them and if the associated dividends are with IEPF then start the process of claiming those dividends.
In the following section, we have given a list of dividends released year by year by CC in the last two and a half decades. One can study this table and calculate how much dividend ACC has given to its investors in this period.
DIVIDEND Released by ACC
The following table gives the list of dividends issued by ACC in the last two decades of its operations.
|Announcement Date||Effective Date||Dividend Type||Dividend (%)||Remarks|
|11/02/2021||30/03/2021||Final||140%||Rs.14.0000 per share (140%) Final Dividend|
|12/05/2020||19/05/2020||Interim||140%||Rs.14.0000 per share (140%) Interim Dividend|
|05/02/2019||05/03/2019||Final||140%||Rs.14.0000 per share (140%) Dividend|
|05/02/2019||05/03/2019||Interim||140%||Rs.14.0000 per share (140%) Dividend|
|08/02/2018||17/05/2018||Final||150%||Rs.15.0000 per share (150%) Final Dividend|
|07/07/2017||25/07/2017||Interim||110%||Rs.11.0000 per share (110%) Interim Dividend|
|03/02/2017||16/03/2017||Final||60%||Rs.6.0000 per share (60%) Interim Dividend|
|12/07/2016||02/08/2016||Interim||110%||Rs.11.0000 per share (110%) Interim Dividend|
|10/02/2016||22/02/2016||Final||60%||Rs.6.0000 per share (60%) Final Dividend|
|08/07/2015||22/07/2015||Interim||110%||Rs.11.0000 per share (110%) Interim Dividend|
|03/02/2015||12/03/2015||Final||190%||Rs.19.0000 per share (190%) Final Dividend|
|15/07/2014||28/07/2014||Interim||150%||Rs.15.0000 per share (150%) Interim Dividend|
|06/02/2014||24/03/2014||Final||190%||Rs.19.0000 per share (190%) Final Dividend.|
|17/07/2013||30/07/2013||Interim||110%||Rs.11.0000 per share (110%) Interim Dividend|
|07/02/2013||21/03/2013||Final||190%||Rs.19.0000 per share (190%) Final Dividend|
|26/07/2012||01/08/2012||Interim||110%||Rs.11.00 per share (110%) Interim Dividend|
|03/02/2011||29/03/2011||Final||205%||Final Dividend of Rs. 20.50 (Rupees Twenty and Paise Fifty only) per equity share of Rs. 10/- each which includes a one time Special Dividend of Rs. 7.50 per equity share for the Platinum Jubilee Year.|
|06/05/1999||Final||15%||Dividend & Right Issue|
What is Investor Education and Protection Fund [IEPF]?
It could be a little hard to believe but it is quite common for senior citizens to forget about their old shareholdings in different companies. There are many reasons for the said behaviour, such as:
- Investment of a relatively small amount which people tend to forget after a certain time thinking that it would not have grown significantly.
- Health issues of senior citizens lead them to forgetting about their investments in old age .
- People buy shares in a firm without assigning any nominee. If they die due to any reason, the shares might remain unclaimed as the possible heirs of the deceased have no knowledge of the existence of such shares.
- Sometimes, there are many possible heirs of the deceased person and the shares in question get stuck in legal battle between the parties claiming them and thus remain dormant for years till a resolution is reached between the parties involved.
There could also be many other plethora of reasons that could lead a simple investor to forget about his investments. Because of this, in almost every corporate or firm, there are dormant shares lying in the dormant share account of the company without anyone to claim them.
Earlier, the companies were asked by the government to transfer such dormant capital to the public welfare account where this money could be used in government’s infrastructure projects and public welfare schemes. However, there was no law to guide the companies and the government officials about the standard procedure to resolve the issue of unclaimed dividends. Also, there was no procedure available for people coming after years to claim their money. Either the government has let the companies keep these huge amounts to themselves waiting for the rightful shareholder to come and ask for the dividend or can simply reject the claim request of investors.
Both the options seemed unviable as companies could use these dormant funds for their own benefits and neither the company nor the government had any right to not give the rightful owner their value of shares for their investment. So, to address this issue, the government set up IEPF authority which was responsible for handling the dormant shares and dividends of investors. The government also released rules for IEPF and the procedure to claim dividends from IEPF for the investors. Let us understand in brief about the provisions of IEPF for claim of dividends before moving on to the procedure of claiming the shares.
Provisions Governing IEPF
The released provisions of the IEPF by the government stated that an investor must claim his dividend from the company within one month of its release. if the investor doesn’t claim the money within one month then the company is obliged to transfer this unclaimed dividend to a special unclaimed dividend account created by the company. The creation of this special account is a must for every company. The unclaimed dividends will lie in this account for seven years during which an investor can simply contact the company’s nodal officer or transfer agent to claim the dividend from this account. After seven years, the dividends must be transferred to the IEPF account and it will lie in that account until a claimant makes a valid claim request to IEPF with relevant documents. So all the companies must transfer all the dormant shares from their unclaimed dividend account to the IEPF if they are older than seven years.
The investors whose shares older than seven years have been transferred to the IEPF can apply to IEPF for recovery of these shares and dividends. The procedure for the same is illustrated in brief in the following section.
Procedure to Claim Dividend and ACC Shares from IEPF Authority
ACC shareholders, whose shares and the associated unclaimed dividend has been transferred to the IEPF can raise the claim for their dividend online on the IEPF’s website.
Step 1: Contact Nodal Officer
The investor must contact the following person to get all details about his shares and the corresponding process to claim them.
- Name of Nodal Officer : Mr Rajiv Choubey
Email Id: [email protected]
- Name of Deputy Nodal Officer: Mr Faisal Qureshi
Email Id: [email protected]
The above mentioned details are of the ACC’s Company Registrar/ Nodal officers. The shareholder can obtain all the information from them like the year wise dividend entitlement, and detail of all the shares transferred to the IEPF’s fund.
Step 2: Download IEPF 5
The shareholder now has to go to the website of the IEPF on the following link, http://www.iepf.gov.in/IEPF/refund.html, and download the claim Form IEPF 5. Then he needs to fill the form and upload it on the website. This will become the online application for claim by the shareholder.
Step 3: Physical Application
The shareholder must take a printout of the online claim form and send it with the essential documents to the Nodal Officer of the ACC at his Registered Office. The application must be sent with the self attested copies of the documents and signatures of witnesses wherever required.
The required documents that need to be attached with the application are:
- Indemnity Bond: Duly signed by the claimant, two witnesses, and joint holder (if any):
- For Claim Amount lower than 10,000: On a plain paper
- For Claim Amount lower than 10,000: On a non-judicial stamp paper as per the Stamp Act.
- Original Copy of Advance Stamp Receipt: It must be Duly signed by the claimant, any available joint holder, and two witnesses.
- Copy of Client Master List
- Proof of Entitlement
- Copy of Aadhar Card and PAN Card
- In case of NRIs, Copy of Passport
- An Original Cancelled Cheque
- If there is any joint holder who is deceased, a notarized copy his death certificate must be attached.
- Any other optional documents asked by the Nodal officer or authority.
Step 4: Verification by ACC
ACC’s nodal officer will then verify the details of the application form, along with the claim details and the documents attached. He will have to create a Verification Report as per IEPF norms and file it to the authority with the original documents within 15 days of receipt of claim application.
Step 5: Comment by the IEPF Authority
The IEPF Authority’s fund manager will verify the received documents, forms and verification report from the company’s nodal officer and based on his/her observation can take the following steps:
- Approve the claim and release the refund into the claimant’s account.
- Ask the claimant to resubmit the any other document, in case of any discrepancy or issue.
- Reject the claim.
Step 6: What to do next?
- If the authority rejects the claim then the princess has to be repeated. the claimants are advised that they must take legal help for filing applications to avoid any rejection.
- If the authority asks for any other document then the claimant must submit it within 15 days via nodal officer to the IEPF authority.
For more information, visit: https://www.acclimited.com/investor-relations/corporate-governance
Why do You Need Legal Help?
As mentioned, the process to file the claim for lost or unclaimed shares from IEPF is complex and an application has to go through intense scrutiny to be eligible for approval. hence any small errors or non filing of any relevant document to the authority must be avoided, to do so, a claimant can simply hire a financial consultant firm who will complete the whole process on their behalf with responsibility of not committing any error. This will also save the investor from all the hassle of liaising with the authority and the nodal officer of the company till the claim is approved.
The claimant can simply hire the financial and legal consultancy firm to file all the relevant ownership documents for claim. They can also help in handling any dispute related to ownership in case the original owner of the shares is deceased. Therefore, the ideal procedure for claiming the shares from IEPF is by collaborating with the specialist of the procedure.