The Delhi High Court has allowed Ranbaxy Laboratories promoters Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh to conduct postal ballot next week to increase the limit of foreign share holding in Fortis Healthcare from 24% to 74% on the condition that it does not change the status of their encumbered assets — RHC Holdings and Oscar Investments. Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva took note of the assurance given by senior counsel Sandeep Sethi and counsel Anuradha Dutt that the resolution would have no impact on the value of the unencumbered assets held by the Singh brothers. This was done to allay the apprehensions of Daiichi Sankyo that the value of assets were enough to secure penalty amount of Rs2,562-crore awarded to the Japanese drug maker by the Singapore arbitral tribunal at a later stage, if required.
Daiichi had told the court that the duo has proposed a resolution to be passed by postal ballot by which they are seeking to reduce the unencumbered assets and also increasing the limit of foreign share holding in Fortis Healthcare from 24% to 74% and this was in violation of the HC’s March 6 order that had restrained Singh brothers from diluting their stakes in the unencumbered assets without the court’s nod. Daichii in a fresh application had sought directions to the Singh brothers that they will not dilute/reduce RHC Holdings and Oscar Investments shareholdings in Fortis Healthcare Holding and consequent shareholding of Fortis Healthcare Holding in Fortis Healthcare on the grounds that both the firm were attempting to “indirectly dissipate and divert the value of their unencumbered assets”.
RHC Holdings has 80.67% in Fortis Healthcare Holding Private while Oscar Investment had 19.33% shareholding in the company. Fortis Healthcare Holdings in turn holds a controlling stake of 52.50% in Fortis Healthcare.
Earlier on March 6, the HC had asked the former Ranbaxy Labs promoters to give details of all unencumbered assets and also inform it before diluting stakes in any of them. It had also directed the chartered accountants of RHC Holding and subsidiary companies to submit certificates disclosing the book and market value of all (movable and immovable) unencumbered assets.