IndiGo promoters spat: Hearing in London over, arbitration outcome soon


A legal outcome is in sight in the matter of dispute between the two promoters of India's largest airline IndiGo.

A legal outcome is in sight in the matter of dispute between the two promoters of India's largest airline IndiGo.
"Arbitration procedures were going on in London, I think the hearings are over, we are waiting for the outcome but for us, it is business as usual," IndiGo Chief Executive Officer Rono Dutta told CNBC-TV18 in an exclusive interaction.
"I think we have very active and articulate board members. We all focus on the business. What happens in London happens in London, nothing to do with us," Dutta added.
"I would almost say I don't know and I don't care. It is a sideshow for me," Dutta said when asked about the exact timeline of the outcome.
The promoter rift at IndiGo reached London in 2019 as co-founder Rahul Bhatia submitted an arbitration request in relation to the differences between him and Rakesh Gangwal on shareholders' agreement and articles of association.
The arbitration request, dated October 2019, was submitted to the London Court of International Arbitration under the shareholders' agreement dated April 23, 2015.
While Bhatia and his group InterGlobe Enterprises Pvt Ltd are claimants, Rakesh Gangwal, his wife Shobha Gangwal and their associated entity—the Chinkerpoo Family Trust—and IndiGo are named as the respondents.
"This dispute relates to claims of the IGE Group against the RG (Rakesh Gangwal) Group regarding, inter-alia, compliance with the Shareholders Agreement and the articles of association of the Company and damages," IndiGo had informed the exchanges in October 2019.
In the exchange filing, IndiGo had also clarified that the arbitration requests have not sought any relief against the company. It had also added that while IndiGo has been named as a necessary and proper party to the arbitration, presently, monetary claim, including any compensation or penalty, has not been sought against the company.
"Quantum of claims, if any. Nil against the company since no reliefs have been sought against the company at this time under the request for arbitration," IndiGo had said in its exchange filing.
The differences between the two promoters of IndiGo came out in the public eye in July 2019 when Gangwal wrote a letter to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and claimed that the standards of corporate governance at the airline are faltering and also alleged that some questionable related-party transactions have taken place between IndiGo and Bhatia-owned InterGlobe Enterprises.
The SEBI matter, however, was settled by InterGlobe Aviation in February of 2021.
InterGlobe Aviation, the company that operates IndiGo airlines, paid Rs 2.10 crore to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to settle a pending case and SEBI disposed of adjudication proceedings against InterGlobe Aviation following the settlement.
IndiGo proposed to settle the proceedings "without admitting or denying the findings of fact and conclusions of law" and filed a settlement application with SEBI to settle the case, SEBI said in its order.
The settlement terms of InterGlobe Aviation were placed before the High powered advisory committee on January 25, 2021, and it recommended the adjudication proceedings to be settled on a payment of Rs 2.10 crore, SEBI said.
As of March 31, the two promoter groups hold 74.84 percent share, while the rest 25.16 percent is held by the public. Bhatia and his associates hold the highest stake in the company at 38.20 percent, followed by Gangwal and his associates at 36.63 percent.

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