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SC to rule tomorrow on role of lenders in Fortis Healthcare’s stake sale

The Supreme Court will pass orders tomorrow on what details banks need to give pertaining to the Fortis Healthcare-IHH Berhad deal. The court will decide which all documents banks will have to provide to explain their role in the transfer of Fortis Healthcare’s shares to IHH Berhad.

The top court wondered how did money move out of Fortis Healthcare in January 2019 and who had allowed it. The court held that this transfer of funds by Fortis Healthcare, Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh amounted to a clear violation of its 2018 order. In view of the violation of the status quo order, the court has sought details on encumbrances created on Fortis Healthcare’s shares and wants to know how Rs. 4,666 crores went out of Fortis Healthcare Holdings and at what juncture.

In December 2018, the apex court had ordered a status quo on Singh brothers-controlled Fortis Healthcare’s plans to proceed with a deal with IHH Berhad. The stay order continued even as Singh brothers were held guilty of contempt of court in 2019 and were asked to pay Rs. 1170 crores each.

Daiichi Sankyo cited documentary evidence to claim that banks not only sold Fortis Healthcare’s shares but also allowed Singh brothers to sell their stake in the market. Daiichi has claimed that the purpose of the sale was to decouple Fortis Healthcare Holdings from Fortis Healthcare Limited.

Daiichi submitted that no bank had told the court that the control of Fortis Healthcare Holdings will be completely knocked out. Pointing to enquiries by Yes Bank and Axis Bank to find out if Fortis Healthcare’s shares could be sold, Daiichi contended that banks were aware about assurances and court proceedings even as Singh brothers told the banks to sell shares and do whatever they feel like. Daiichi told the court that despite “confirming” pledges to not alienate their stakes earlier, Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh are now saying that they have got nothing to do with each other. Times Now

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