The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Andhra Pradesh High Court, which had passed an interim order staying the $4 billion (Rs 23,508 crore) merger of Ranbaxy with Sun Pharma, to decide the issue within two days.
Hearing appeals filed by Sun Pharmaceutical, Ranbaxy Laboratories and Daiichi Sankyo against HC interim order, a bench of justices B S Chauhan and A K Sikri asked the HC to decide the issue and posted the case for hearing on May 27.
The court had on April 25 stayed the merger and ordered status quo in response to a petition filed by two individual investors who alleged that there was heavy trading of Ranbaxy stock before the merger with Sun Pharma was announced on April 6.
They had pleaded the court to direct the Securities and Exchanges Board of India to investigate the insider trading of Ranbaxy shares and take appropriate action against Sun Pharma and the limited liability partnership firm Silver Street.
Senior advocate Abhishekh Manu Singhvi, appearing for Sun Pharmaceutical, submitted that there is absolute abuse of process of law in the case as the order was passed on a petition of two individuals which would affect the biggest deal in the pharma sector.
The bench, however, said that shareholders have right to challenge the merger. Mumbai-based Sun-Pharma had announced that the all-stock transaction would have a total equity value of $3.2 billion (Rs 18806 crore) and a debt of $800 million (Rs 4702 crore).
According to a report, before the announcement of the merger Ranbaxy shares had jumped 26% between March 31 and April 4.