Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Plea On IHH Open Offer For Fortis Healthcare
The Supreme Court agreed to hear a minority shareholder’s plea seeking to enforce IHH Healthcare Berhad’s takeover of Fortis Healthcare Ltd. even as it granted Malvinder and Shivinder Singh more time to pay up dues to save themselves of contempt.
The two brothers appeared before the bench headed by Justice Deepak Gupta and informed that they haven’t been able to deposit the amount as per the court’s directions. Malvinder, through his lawyer senior advocate Dushyant Dave, also said he wasn’t contesting the amount he was liable to pay but sought more time.
In December 2018, the Supreme Court had ordered to maintain a status quo on Fortis’ deal with IHH. Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo—to which the Singh brothers owe Rs 3,500 crore after losing an arbitration over sale of Ranbaxy India Ltd.—had argued that certain transactions between IHH and Fortis violated the court’s directions. In November 2019, an apex court bench—headed by the then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi—held the Singh brothers guilty of contempt for violating its order that forbid them from selling or diluting their shareholding in Fortis. To avoid penal action, the apex court had asked the Singh brothers to pay up Rs 1,170 crore each.
Justice Gupta said the court didn’t want to send the Singh brothers to jail if they could pay the amount directed by it.
The top court also agreed to hear a plea of a minority shareholder of Fortis seeking implementation of IHH’s open offer in its takeover deal for the Indian hospital chain. Market regulator SEBI, too, moved the top court supporting the implementation of IHH’s open offer.
The Supreme Court will hear the case on March 16, 2020.