No desire to take IndiGo's control, says co-promoter Rakesh Gangwal

While Rakesh Gangwal’s family holds around 37 per cent stake in InterGlobe Aviation, the Bhatias own 38% of the airline
IndiGo co-promoter Rakesh Gangwal on Saturday sought to scotch speculation that he was trying to gain greater control over the airline, saying he had no interest or desire to do that.  

The remarks came against the backdrop of his reported differences with another co-promoter Rahul Bhatia. While the Gangwal family holds around 37 per cent stake in InterGlobe Aviation, the Bhatias own 38 per cent of the company. The remaining shares are held by the public, mutual funds, foreign institutions, financial institutions, and others. 

In a statement made by Chief Executive Officer Ronojoy Dutta, Gangwal said the RG group (led by his family and their trusts as well as JP Morgan Trust Company) had no interest in taking control of the company. “To put to rest the messaging on the fact that the RG group is attempting to renegotiate the shareholders' agreement (SHA), I am placing on record that the RG group stands by the current SHA, which in any case expires this October,” Gangwal was quoted by Dutta as saying.

Sources said the statement was made by Dutta to impress that IndiGo was a management-run company and was not impacted by any differences between the promoters.

Dutta said there might be differences between the two promoters on certain matters, but the company had a great track record of resolving such issues. "If the current differences were to not get resolved, you shall certainly hear about it. However, it serves no purpose speculating about it," he said in the statement.

Dutta said he "deeply resents and wishes" to dispel all attempts to portray "us as a fractured team at IndiGo".

The shareholders’ agreement gives Interglobe Enterprise Group (IGE) the right to nominate three non-independent directors, and the RG group one non-independent director. One director each of the two groups, however, can become a non-retiring director. The IGE group also has the right to appoint the top brass — chairman of the board, CEO, managing director and president of the company. However, the shareholders have to endorse the appointment of MD. In the case of CEO and president, the board also needs to clear the appointment. It is believed that this arrangement might also come under discussion among the law firms hired to sort out differences between the promoters.

The two sides through their law firms — JSA Law for Bhatia, and Khaitan & Co for Gangwal — are discussing possible changes in the shareholders’ agreement, sources said. 

The differences, sources had earlier said, were over the strategy of the company and hiring of expat executives a result of which former president Aditya Ghosh stepped down as president.

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