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Rivals spreading a false narrative, says IndiGo Rakesh Gangwal

IndiGo cofounder stands by the issues he has taken up with Sebi, other regulatory authorities.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jul 31, 2019, 08.35 AM IST
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Acting on Gangwal’s plaints, IndiGo has almost readied policy on relatedparty deals.
NEW DELHI: IndiGo cofounder Rakesh Gangwal, who is feuding with fellow cofounder Rahul Bhatia over the management of India’s biggest airline, said his rivals were hiding behind “sources” and spreading a “false narrative” about the dispute, signalling that they don’t seem any closer to a rapprochement.

“I stand by my issues raised with Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India) and with other governmental and regulatory authorities and am honouring all requests for information from the various agencies,” he told ET. “I wish people had the conviction to be directly quoted and not hide behind so-called sources to spread a false narrative in the media.”

He was responding to reports in which sources close to Bhatia and his InterGlobe Enterprises (IGE) alleged that the Gangwal’s complaints were merely a “smokescreen” to conceal his “larger game plan” to take control of the carrier. It was also alleged that Gangwal hadn’t replied to agencies seeking clarifications on his complaints.

The Bhatia family and IGE together own 38.23% in IndiGo. Gangwal, who owns 36.65% stake, didn’t reply to any other questions and said he wouldn’t like to fight his case through media.

IGE didn’t respond to queries.

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“The complaints are being dealt with by the regulators, so they would be in the best position to make that determination,” said an IGE source who didn’t want to be identified.

Co to Expand Board
Gangwal had written to Sebi on July 8 seeking its intervention to address what he called corporate governance issues at Indi-Go. He had raised concerns over certain related-party transactions, apart from the absence of an independent woman member on the board, as is required. Agencies including Sebi are looking into the complaints raised in the letter.

To address the issues cited by Gangwal’s complaints, IndiGo has almost finalised a policy on related-party transactions and has decided to expand the IndiGo board from six to 10 members. According to this plan, the board will include four independent directors, including a woman, as well as five nominees of Bhatia’s IGE, besides Gangwal. The CEO of the company will also be a board member. Under the new RPT policy, request for proposals will be floated for all such transactions and a competitive bidding process will be followed for those exceeding a certain threshold. External consultants will be hired to deal with technical issues and transactions. The new RPT policy will be implemented via an amendment in the Articles of Association and any change will require the unanimous approval of all the independent directors.

This, however, has not been able to bring about any thaw in the relationship between the warring promoters.

Also Read

Rakesh Gangwal has a history of being uncooperative: IndiGo co-founder Rahul Bhatia

IndiGo: Could this get Rakesh Gangwal to patch up with Rahul Bhatia?

IndiGo cofounder Rahul Bhatia takes partner Rakesh Gangwal to court in Florida

IndiGo promoter feud: Rahul Bhatia, IGE file for arbitration in London Court against Rakesh Gangwal

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