When Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh were selling their 34.8 per cent stake in Ranbaxy Laboratories for a whopping $2.4 billion in June 2008 to a Japan-based company, Daiichi Sankyo, the brothers were completely oblivious to the fact that the string of controversies following the sale would haunt them even a decade later in 2018. Nearly ten years ago, they parted their ways with the organisation that was incorporated in 1937 as a distributor for a Japanese company, Shiongi. The crises started unfolding soon after the US drug regulator USFDA cracked down on Ranbaxy and banned an array of drugs made at its Indian units for manufacturing deficits. And now, Daiichi has knocked on the doors of Enforcement Directorate (ED) to probe the "potential fraudulent transactions" by Singh Brothers, according to a media report.
The feud between Daiichi and Singh brothers has a genesis in the alleged concealing of information pertaining to the USFDA's objections by the sellers (Singh brothers) to the Japanese buyer. Eventually, Daiichi, the new owner of Ranbaxy, was obligated to pay the $500 million damages to the US regulator for the deficiencies. Later, Daiichi took Singh brothers to a Singapore court seeking the same damages. This happened while Ranbaxy again changed hands when Sun Pharma bought it from Daiichi in April 2014 for $4 billion.
The Singh brothers lost the crucial case in Singapore arbitration court that ordered them to pay Rs 3,500 crore. The Delhi High Court upheld the award on January 31, 2018. The same court even attached the assets of two financial firms controlled by Singh brothers.
Singh brothers' resignation at Fortis followed in February this year. Soon after, Fortis Healthcare washed its hands off the entire controversy by saying that they had nothing to do with the court proceedings against the Singh brothers. This was a rational argument because by now, the brothers had already resigned from Fortis that runs a chain of hospitals. There are some allegations as to the siphoning off of Rs 527 crore from Fortis and Religare Enterprises, following which Daiichi reportedly knocked on the doors of enforcement directorate seeking an investigation, says a media report today.
Daiichi Vs Singh Brothers Feud Gets Nastier By The Day. A Timeline
June 2008: Daiichi Sankyo acquires a 34.8 per cent stake in Ranbaxy for a value $2.4 billion.
November 2008: Daiichi Sankyo completes the takeover of the company from the founding Singh family in a deal worth $4.6 billion by acquiring a 63.92 per cent stake in Ranbaxy. It is the biggest acquisition of a listed Indian company.
Early 2009: USFDA bans an array of Ranbaxy drugs from the US owing to manufacturing deficiencies discovered at several plants in India.
Ranbaxy later pays $500 million to USFDA for fraud committed at its facilities.
April 2014: Daiichi Sankyo sells its India unit of Ranbaxy to Sun Pharmaceutical Industries for $4 billion in an all-share deal.
January 31, 2018: The Japanese company moves the Delhi High Court to enforce the arbitration award announced by the Singapore tribunal. Delhi High Court Justice Jayant Nath rejects all objections raised by Singh brothers and orders that the arbitration award was in sync with Indian laws and policy.
February 8, 2018: Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh, founders of Fortis Healthcare, resign from the Fortis board. Details here.
February 9: A Bloomberg report suggests that Singh brothers had allegedly taken Rs 473 crore out of Fortis Healthcare (that they controlled) without the board's approval about a year ago. The funds were reported on the balance sheet of Fortis Healthcare as cash and cash equivalents, but the money was routed and placed under the control of the Singhs at the time. However, refuting the allegations, Fortis Hospitals says that it deployed funds in secured short-term investments with companies in normal course of treasury operations. A company release to the Bombay Stock Exchange says the "loans" were fully "secured", and were being repaid. Details here.
February 18: The Delhi Debts Recovery Tribunal (DRT) restrains Malvinder Mohan Singh, from selling his property in Lutyen's Delhi and some other assets in a bank loan default case. A bench headed by presiding officer GVK Raju passes the interim direction on an application by Yes Bank of Rs 569.64 crore loan given to Oscar Investment Ltd. for which Malvinder Mohan Singh was a guarantor. Details Here.
February 19: Days after Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh stepped down from the board of Fortis and diversified financial services firm Religare Enterprises, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) says that it would initiate a probe into alleged financial irregularities at Fortis Healthcare and Religare Enterprises, PTI reports.
February 26: The Delhi High Court orders attachment of assets held by two investment companies of Singh brothers. The court also prohibits the two companies from operating their bank accounts, except for the purpose of payment of salaries to employees and satisfaction of statutory debts.
February 27: Fortis Healthcare, in a stock market filing, submits that it is not a party to the arbitration and/or not a party to ongoing proceedings in the Delhi High Court (against Singh brothers) and as such is not involved or impacted by its outcome. Also, Fortis says that the outcome of the proceeding will not have any material direct impact on the company or its operations.
March 13: Daiichi Sankyo writes to ED seeking an investigation on allegations that former Ranbaxy promoters Malvinder and Shivinder Singh siphoned the money off Fortis Healthcare and Religare Enterprises. Details here.