Money muck the main motive behind Sheena Bora's murder?

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 28, 2015 22:35 IST
Indrani Mukerjea and her husband Peter Mukerjea. (Prodip Guha/HT File Photo)

While several theories are being floated on the motive behind Sheena Bora’s murder, money and property seem to be the main reasons, including the need to ensure continuity in inheritances.

Although specific details are not available, back-of-the-envelope calculations on the value of the various known properties and income from businesses would peg the family wealth in excess of Rs 800 crore by a conservative estimate.

This would include the value of the sale of the Mukerjeas’ equity stake in the INX Group for about Rs 500 crore, the value of the family-owned house at Marlow Building, Pochkhanawala Road in Worli, of about Rs 60 crore and an estimate of the family home in Bristol, UK.

Real estate experts estimate the value of the property in Worli to be higher than Rs 60 crore.

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The INX stake sale was concluded for an undisclosed amount as the company is unlisted. In 2006 Singapore-based investment firm Temasek Holdings bought about 25% equity stake in INX Media, though the Mukerjeas’ promoter stake sale in 2009 was made to Indi Media.

In FY2006 Temasek added new holdings in INX Media in the Indian broadcast space and Tata Sky in the DTH pay TV sector, apart from other investments, to cash in on growth in these sectors. Temasek’s minority equity stake investment in INX Media was routed through a subsidiary, Dunearn Investments.

The Registrar of Companies also lists the following companies under the INX Group: INX Executive Search, INX Productions, INX Services, and INX Music. The signatories of these companies, except INX Music, displayed the names of Indrani Mukerjea, among others.

The overall Mukerjea family income would also include a sizeable severance amount Peter would have been entitled to, including bonus and other perks, from Star TV which he left in 2007.

According to people familiar with the issue, transactions at INX could also be significant as most contractual agreements at INX were routed through group companies.

Indrani Mukerjea started her career through an executive search company. After establishing steady manpower recruitment contracts by getting her firm empanelled with large companies such as Star TV, Indrani ensured all recruitment at INX was done through in-house firm INX Executive Search.

“If one considers the over 12% fee that recruitment firms make on each appointment and also the revenue from production contracts that were outsourced, again to front companies, this would only add substantially to the total money pool,” a senior executive from the broadcasting sector said.

However, he could not estimate the amount that would have been generated.

(With inputs from Mumbai)

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