Daiichi Sankyo opposes Singh brothers’ bid to sell Religare Health Insurance

Daiichi Sankyo tells Delhi HC that Religare Health Insurance sale by the Singh brothers violates an earlier court order on selling of unencumbered assets


Singh brothers—Malvinder and Shivender—have sold 80% in Religare Health Insurance to a clutch of investors led by True North to pare debt. Photo: HT
Singh brothers—Malvinder and Shivender—have sold 80% in Religare Health Insurance to a clutch of investors led by True North to pare debt. Photo: HT

New Delhi: Japanese drugmaker Daiichi Sankyo Ltd on Monday opposed the sale of an 80% stake in Religare Health Insurance Co. Ltd by Singh brothers—Malvinder and Shivender—to a group of investors led by private equity firm True North.

Daiichi Sankyo told the Delhi high court that the sale violated a previous order which required them to take court permission to part with unencumbered assets.

“We have been taken for a ride. They (Singh brothers) are going against the assurance given by them to the court that they would not alienate unencumbered assets. Their assets should be attached to prevent such a situation,” said Daiichi’s counsel C.A. Sundaram.

The Singh brothers have been repeatedly asked by the Delhi high court to disclose the value of the unencumbered shareholding they in have in various entities. The brothers in 2008 sold Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd to Daiichi Sankyo, which has since sold the company to Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

"We have been taken for a ride. They (Singh brothers) are going against the assurance given by them to the court that they would not alienate unencumbered assets. Their assets should be attached to prevent such a situation"- C.A. Sundaram, counsel for Daiichi Sankyo

On 20 March, the court permitted Daiichi to inspect documents submitted by the Singhs including copies of several affidavits by the brothers and the reports of the chartered accountants of RHC Holding Pvt. Ltd, a firm in which the Singhs have significant shareholding, and its subsidiary companies. Subsequently, Daiichi sought the appointment of a third-party auditor to assist in the inspection process.

The case relates to enforcement of an arbitral award in proceedings initiated by Daiichi Sankyo against the Singh brothers in relation to its 2008 purchase of a majority stake in Ranbaxy.

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In 2008, the Singh brothers exited the pharmaceuticals business by selling their controlling stake in Ranbaxy Laboratories o Daiichi Sankyo Ltd for $4.6 billion.

The original arbitral award came after the Japanese company alleged that the Singh brothers had concealed crucial information while selling Ranbaxy to it.

In response, a Singapore tribunal had ordered the brothers to pay a sum of Rs. 2,562 crore. The Singh brothers are contesting this in the Delhi high court.

The case will be heard next on 24 April.

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