Kolkata: The second largest company in the KK Birla group, Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals Ltd, will be board-run, with the three daughters of Birla—Jyotsna Poddar, Nandini Nopany and Shobhana Bhartia—owning equal stakes in the company and jointly managing it, The Telegraph newspaper reported on Friday.
Together, the family owns around 49% of Chambal.
K.K. Birla, who was chairman of HT Media Ltd and several other companies that are part of the group he headed, died on 30 August. He did not leave a will. The settlement of the assets had already been made in his lifetime.
Birla’s son-in-law Saroj Kumar Poddar is to soon be appointed chairman of Chambal.
Under the terms of the settlement, Poddar gets management control of Texmaco Ltd— the group’s engineering firm— and Zuari Industries Ltd because of his substantial equity interest in both.
He has already been made chairman of Texmaco, and will soon be named chairman of Zuari, the largest in the group.
Zuari ended 2007-08 with revenue of almost Rs4,000 crore and Chambal around Rs3,200 crore.
Cross-holdings in the group will continue. In the case of Texmaco and Zuari, “other members of the extended family will continue to hold shares in these companies. These are in the nature of investments, but I will have complete management control of the two companies,” said Poddar.
SIL Investments Ltd, an investment firm controlled by Nandini Nopany, owns 10.9% of Zuari’s shares. Zuari and Chambal, in turn, jointly own an almost 30% stake in Texmaco. SIL owns 7.73% stake in Chambal as well.
Under the succession plan—which was implemented by Birla himself—Nandini Nopany will control the group’s two biggest sugar firms, Oudh Sugar Mills Ltd and Upper Ganges Sugar and Industries Ltd, textile company Sutlej Textiles and Industries Ltd and SIL Investments. All these firms are now managed by her son, Chandrashekhar Nopany.
Birla’s youngest daughter, Shobhana Bhartia, vice-chairman of HT Media, the company that publishes Mint, the Hindustan Times and Hindustan, will control the group’s media business. HT Media owns 10.62% of Chambal.
Besides Texmaco and Zuari, Poddar also gets control of Gobind Sugar Mills Ltd.
The Telegraph said that “during his lifetime”, Birla had “put in place a clearly defined management structure that gave some indication of how the group would be divided”.