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Last Updated : Aug 25, 2018 06:42 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Pharma weekly wrap: Singh bros put blame on former top executive Sunil Godhwani for group's financial woes

Godhwani was leading group's financial services arm Religare Enterprises as MD and CEO, was also in charge of the group's holding company, RHC Holding.

Viswanath Pilla @viswanath_pilla
 
 
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Viswanath Pilla
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In a latest twist in the tale,  Malvinder and Shivinder Singh - the erstwhile promoters of Fortis have put the blame on former Religare top executive Sunil Godhwani for the group’s troubles.

Singh brothers have lost control over Fortis and Religare and are facing heat from Japanese drug maker Daichii Sankyo, which is trying to enforce Rs 3500 crore arbitration award it got from a tribunal in Singapore.

“The Group’s troubles today stem from the Group’s association with Sunil Godhwani who had started his association in Religare as its CEO in 2001,” Singh brothers alleged in a joint statement last week.

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Singh brothers further alleged Godhwani often took decisions without informing them. They say he was the architect of the financial structures, including the loans to the Dhillon family and companies, that led to their financial troubles.

Godhwani was leading group's financial services arm Religare Enterprises  as MD and CEO, was also in charge of the group's holding company, RHC Holding.

In July 2016, Sunil Godhwani stepped down as chairman and managing director of Religare Enterprises and was designated as whole-time director and CEO. On September 6, 2017, Godhwani stepped down as whole-time director as well.

 

He couldn't be reached. But a report in Business Standard in January this year says that Godhwani is looking to raise USD 500 million  for his 'stressed assets revival fund' focussed on the Indian markets.

Gurinder Singh Dhillon, known as Babaji, the spiritual Guru of the Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB).  Singh brothers are related to Dhillon and consider him as their mentor.  Dhillon family have huge influence over the group companies of Singh brothers.

Singh brothers are said to have transfered around Rs 2,500 crore of Ranbaxy sale proceeds helping Dhillon family to fund building a real estate empire.

The two brothers were sitting on Rs 10,000 crore in cash in 2008 after they sold Ranbaxy Laboratories to Japan's Daiichi Sankyo.  Most of that cash is now blown away.

"After the Ranbaxy sale closed, it was decided that Mr. Godhwani would lead our family office in addition to his role in Religare, and from end 2008, he had full management control of RHC Holding and its subsidiaries. Mr. Godhwani was expected to be a responsible trustee and steward of the family's resources and consequently our reputation," the brothers said.

“Godhwani used his position to conceive and orchestrate a series of transactions over the better part of a decade that led to our Group’s debt load by 2016,” they added.

It is clear that he used our trust in him to exercise undue influence and has taken advantage of the faith bestowed by both families, the statement said.

Singh bros - Dhillon transactions under cloud

The Singh brothers however defended Dhillon and called him as their spiritual master.

"After our father Dr. Parvinder Singh passed away in 1999, we found an anchor and mentor in Mr. Dhillon. We remain deeply grateful for this relationship. Our relationship with Mr. Dhillon remains that of a spiritual Master and a disciple. That we have had close personal relations with Mr. Dhillon as the central father figure in our life, has always been and remains a singular privilege and honour," the brothers said.

“We are sure Dhillon and his family would have had a similar expectation from Godhwani regarding management of their resources,” it added.

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First Published on Aug 25, 2018 06:41 pm
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