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InterGlobe Aviation annual general meeting: All related-party transactions executed at arm’s length, says CEO

IndiGo co-promoters have been engaged in a tussle over corporate governance issues, related party transactions and composition of board.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: August 28, 2019 4:15:38 am
Indigo news, Indigo feud, Indigo crisis, Indigo board, Indigo promoters, Indigo shares, Indian Express Gangwal, who has raised issues related to corporate governance at the airline and had written to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, was not present during the meet as he was in the US.

The annual general meeting (AGM) of InterGlobe Aviation, which runs the low-cost carrier, IndiGo, took place on Tuesday but minus any fireworks, in which the co-promoters —Rakesh Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia — have been indulging in for the past one-and-a-half months.

Gangwal, who has raised issues related to corporate governance at the airline and had written to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, was not present during the meet as he was in the US. Another absentee was independent director Anupam Khanna. The firm’s CEO, Ronojoy Dutta, told the shareholders categorically that all related-party transactions (RPTs) have been executed at an arm’s length.

He said the value of RPTs that the company has signed is about Rs 156 crore, which is less than 1 per cent of the company’s total revenues of Rs 30,000 crore. Dutta also said no whistleblower has ever complained on violations of corporate governance norms.

On his part, Bhatia said he feels that Gangwal is trying to make peace. “In a recent statement he (Gangwal) has talked about mending fences. I think his actions will speak louder than his words (website) over time,” Bhatia said.

The reference was to Gangwal starting a website — governanceindia.com – earlier this month to issue his statements.

On the future expansion, Dutta said the company plans to grow by about 30 per cent a year for the next few years and would look at planes like Airbus A321XLR and wide-body aircraft. “We expect that half of that growth (in capacity) will go international, half will go domestic,” he added. IndiGo board chairman M Damodaran said he is optimistic that the two promoters will resolve their differences soon.

On August 23, Gangwal had said since IndiGo had approved a new RPT policy and resolved the earlier issues he would now vote in favour of the proposed changes to the articles of association. While Gangwal, his wife and his family trust own 37.02 per cent shares in the airline, Bhatia’s IGE group controls 37.92 per cent and the remainder is with the public. On July 8, Gangwal had accused Bhatia’s InterGlobe Enterprises of corporate misgovernance along with executing illegal RPTs with the airline. Bhatia has refuted all allegations and called it an attempt to dilute the controlling rights of the IGE group over IndiGo. —FE

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