A patient undergoes dialysis, aided by a Fresenius Medical Care AG machine, at a Fortis Healthcare India Ltd. Renkare dialysis clinic in New Delhi, India. (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Independent Director Quits Fortis Board Ahead Of Shareholders Meet

Fortis Healthcare Ltd. today said its independent director, Lt Gen Tejinder Singh Shergill, has resigned from the board due to personal reasons.

His resignation comes ahead of the crucial stakeholders' meeting to be held on May 22 to decide the fate of four independent directors – Brian Tempest, Harpal Singh, Sabina Vaisoha and Gen Shergill.

In his email to Fortis, Gen Shergill said: “Having previous knowledge of the company and despite my various commitments, I had agreed to join the board of Fortis Healthcare Ltd. to complete the quorum as several members had left the board; Now that there are sufficient members on the board, my many commitments preclude my sparing any further time. Kindly accept my resignation from the board of Fortis Healthcare Ltd.”

Earlier in April, institutional investors – East Bridge Capital Master Fund I Ltd. and National Westminster Bank Plc. as Trustee of the Jupiter India Fund had sought removal of these four directors for allegedly failing to work in the interest of all shareholders, particularly in their handling of the hospital chain's proposed sale.

These investors have 12.04 percent stake in Fortis.

The four directors had sent a joint representation to the shareholders of the company refuting allegations of not exercising their fiduciary duties and stated that they fairly represent interests of all shareholders. They had also claimed that a complete change of the entire board at this time will certainly add more turbulence and ambiguity for Fortis as well as the management.

Also read: Fortis Healthcare Directors Make A Case Against Their Removal

They had asked shareholders to take an informed decision while voting on a resolution seeking their removal.

These institutional investors have also sought shareholder nod for appointment of three directors – Suvalaxmi Chakraborty, Ravi Rajagopal and lndrajit Banerjee to the company's board.