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aviation | IST

IndiGo promoter dispute: Rahul Bhatia files arbitration request against Rakesh Gangwal in London

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The promoter rift at IndiGo has now reached London as co-founder Rahul Bhatia has submitted an arbitration request in relation to the differences between the two promoters on shareholders' agreement and articles of association.

The promoter rift at IndiGo has now reached London as co-founder Rahul Bhatia has submitted an arbitration request in relation to the differences between the two promoters on shareholders' agreement and articles of association.
The arbitration request, dated October 1, has been submitted to the London Court of International Arbitration under the shareholders agreement dated April 23, 2015. The agreement was amended on September 17, 2015.
While Bhatia and his group InterGlobe Enterprises Private Limited are claimants, Rakesh Gangwal, his wife Shobha Gangwal and their associated entity—the Chinkerpoo Family Trust—and IndiGo have been 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 informed the exchanges in a late night release.
IndiGo also clarified that the arbitration requests have not sought any relief against the company. It 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 said in its exchange filing.
The differences between the two promoters of IndiGo came out in the public eye in July 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.
While there have been a series of statements from either side post the public spat, the annual general meeting held on August 27 had indicated that the two sides were working towards a settlement.
However, the fledgling signs of truce at IndiGo soon began to disappear as Gangwal's legal counsel wrote another letter to Sebi on August 30, asking it to take action with respect to rights of Bhatia's InterGlobe Enterprises group and IndiGo's non-independence of chairman M Damodaran among other issues.
As of March 31, the two promoters hold 74.93 percent share, while the rest 25.07 percent is held by the public. Bhatia and his associates hold the highest stake in the company at 38.26 percent, followed by Gangwal and his associates at 36.68 percent.