Days after resignation of Vijay Mallaya from UB group firm Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd (MCFL), the fertiliser company today announced appointment of his step-mother Ritu Mallya as a director of the firm with immediate effect.
In a surprise move on December 1, Mallya had resigned as director of the Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd (MCFL), which is the target of a takeover battle between Deepak Fertilisers and Zuari Group.
In a filing to the BSE, MCFL said, “… the company’s Board of Directors has appointed Mrs Ritu Mallya as a Director of the Company with immediate effect.”
Vijay Mallya had resigned within days of minority shareholders of United Spirits rejected as many as 9 of 12 resolutions, including some pertaining to pacts with entities connected to erstwhile promoter Vijay Mallya.
The UB group has been seeing continuous troubles on various fronts for the last couple of years, beginning with a major cash crunch and high debt at once-luxury airline Kingfisher, forcing it be grounded in October 2012.
The group, which is also engaged in legal tussle with lenders, later sold a controlling stake in its prized unit United Spirits to Diageo while some other assets where also divested in other businesses and two rival bidders came up from Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd (MCFL).
58-year old Mallya’s resignation at MCFL comes in the middle of an intense takeover battle between Kolkata-based industrialist Saroj Poddar-led Zuari group and Pune-based Deepak Fertilisers for wresting control of the UB group firm, which has a urea plant at Mangalore.
In the battle for control of MCFL, Mallya had sided with Zuari group and launched the counter open offer to ward off the takeover bid of Deepak Fertilizers.
After the open offers of both Deepak and rival Zuari-UB group closed on October 20, Deepak Fertilisers’ stake in MCFL increased by about 6 per cent through an open offer to about 32 per cent and inched closer towards the rival Zuari-UB group’s combined stake of 38.4 per cent.
The battle for MCFL between Deepak Fertilisers and Zuari Group was triggered in April 2013 when the latter bought about 10 per cent stake in MCFL through open market.
Later, Deepak Fertilisers acquired 24.46 per cent stake in MCFL in one-go in July 2013. After this, Zuari group had increased its stake to 16.43 per cent in the same month.
The board of MCFL is being restructured to include two representatives of Poddar’s Adventz Group.