Byju’s ‘hidden’ $533 million stuck in unnamed offshore trust - Hindustan Times
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Byju’s ‘hidden’ $533 million stuck in unnamed offshore trust

Bloomberg |
Mar 02, 2024 03:34 PM IST

A small Florida hedge fund that allegedly helped Indian tech firm Think & Learn Pvt hide $533 million must reveal where the money is located.

A small Florida hedge fund that allegedly helped Indian tech firm Think & Learn Pvt hide $533 million must reveal where the money is located or face possible sanctions from a federal judge on Monday.

Byju's reportedly took the help of a Florida hedge fund to hide the money
Byju's reportedly took the help of a Florida hedge fund to hide the money

US Bankruptcy Judge John Dorsey in a Friday hearing dismissed an effort by the investment firm, Camshaft Capital Fund, to avoid answering questions about the cash. The missing money is at the heart of a fight between lenders owed $1.2 billion and Think & Learn, the education-tech startup founded by entrepreneur Byju Raveendran.

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“The fact that they know the information and are refusing to produce it is just a huge red flag,” Dorsey said during a court hearing in Wilmington, Delaware on Friday.

The cash belongs to Byju’s Alpha Inc., a bankrupt shell company affiliated with Think & Learn that was taken over by the lenders after their loan defaulted. The $533 million was transferred to the hedge fund and then moved to an unnamed, off-shore trust by Raveendran’s brother, Riju Ravindran, Byju’s lawyer Benjamin Finestone said during the hearing.

Read more: Investors accuse Byju's of siphoning $533mn, seek stay on rights issue

Camshaft fought efforts to disclose details about the money because a hedge fund has a duty to protect its clients, lawyer Pieter Van Tol told Dorsey. The hedge fund also argued that Byju’s and the lenders should instead get information about the cash from a Delaware company called Inspilearn, which got the money from Camshaft before it was transferred to the unnamed trust.

Read more: Byju's crisis explained: Why edtech firm, once valued at $22 bn, is witnessing financial downfall

Last year lenders declared a default and seized Byju’s Alpha, whose parent is Think & Learn. Since then lenders have tried to force Think & Learn to repay the $1.2 billion and to find $533 million they say should be used to repay the debt.

Ravindran is appealing a Delaware Chancery Court ruling that gave lenders control of Byju’s Alpha.

Should Camshaft fail to turn over the information by the end of Friday, Dorsey said he would hold a “show cause” hearing on Monday to decide what to do. Such hearings can lead to sanctions if the target can’t explain why they failed to follow a court order.

The US bankruptcy case is BYJU’s Alpha Inc., 24-10140, US Bankruptcy Court District of Delaware (Wilmington).

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