Updated: October 8, 2021 7:43:46 am
Wockhardt chairman Habil Fakhruddin Khorakiwala incorporated an offshore firm in Panama in 2011 — and within four years held shares worth $20 million in the company along with 11 other family members, according to records in the Pandora Papers investigated by The Indian Express.
Family members of Khorakiwala with shares in the Panama firm, Barrymil Investments SA, include the top faces of Wockhardt, the Mumbai-based pharmaceutical giant: Murtaza Khorakiwala, managing director; Huzaifa Khorakiwala, executive director; and, Zahabiya Khorakiwala, non-executive director.
Records show that at the time of incorporation in 2011, the capital of Barrymil Investments SA was $10,000, divided into 10,000 shares of $1 each.
In December 2015, the offshore firm’s board of directors passed a resolution to cancel the certificate for 10,000 shares issued to the bearer on May 6, 2011, and issue 20 million shares at par value of $1 to 12 members of the Khorakiwala family.
While Habil Khorakiwala was issued 46 lakh shares, the 11 others were issued 14 lakh shares each.
The Panama firm’s three-director board also authorised its president, identified as Edgardo E Diaz, to issue a general power of attorney in favour of Habil Khorakiwala. The other two directors of the firm are identified in records as Gina A Martinez and Fernando A Gil.
Wockhardt Ltd, which was founded by Habil Khorakiwala in 1967, has a current market capitalisation of Rs 4,745 crore. In the financial year ended March 2021, its consolidated net profit amounted to Rs 688 crore, with revenue of Rs 2,708 crore.
There is no mention of Barrymil Investments SA in the annual reports of Wockhardt. But there are references to another company with a similar name: Barrymil Investments AG, which was registered in Switzerland in August 2018.
Public records for the Swiss company list the name of Wockhardt Bio AD managing director Ajay Sahni on its board.
Responding to queries from The Indian Express on the Panama firm, Wockhardt said: “Barrymill Investments was incorporated in 2011 and engaged in investing activities. Investments in Barrymill Investments were made by family members in their individual capacity and not from Wockhardt Ltd. Hence, the said investment does not appear in Wockhardt annual accounts as the same was not required.” It said: “Respective shareholders have made regulatory disclosures of the investments made, as required, in accordance with the income-tax regulations. Investments in Barrymill Investments were made under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme.”
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