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Fortis’ Shivinder Singh drops lawsuit against brother Malvinder after mom steps in

Fortis’ Shivinder Singh withdrew a suit alleging “oppression and mismanagement” against his brother Malvinder and a senior manager in their corporate group

business Updated: Sep 14, 2018 20:24 IST
Fortis,Shivinder Singh,Malvinder Singh
The Singh brothers are famous for expanding their two public firms -- hospital operator Fortis Healthcare Ltd. and financial firm Religare Enterprises Ltd(Parveen Kumar/Hindustan Times)

A public rupture between the heirs to one of India’s most storied business houses looks to be healing after the mother of the two Singh brothers -- synonymous with each other for decades -- convinced her younger son to withdraw a lawsuit against the elder.

Shivinder Singh withdrew a suit alleging “oppression and mismanagement” against his brother Malvinder and a senior manager in their corporate group after their mother requested they engage in mediation led by family elders instead, according to an order Friday by Justice M.M. Kumar of India’s National Company Law Tribunal.

The suit came amid an ongoing collapse of the Singh family’s generations old health-care and financial services empire. In recent months, they’ve seen their public shareholdings seized by lenders, the launch of a criminal probe into 23 billion rupees ($321 million) missing from their listed companies, and a court order to pay $500 million over fraud allegations arising from the 2008 sale of drugmaker Ranbaxy Laboratories. Both brothers have previously denied any wrongdoing.

Financial irregularities

In a statement Friday Shivinder, 43, said his decision to disassociate himself from his 45-year-old brother as a business partner stands despite withdrawal of the suit. If mediation fails, he held out the possibility of filing a new case. Malvinder didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Singhs are famous in India for expanding their two public firms -- hospital operator Fortis Healthcare Ltd. and financial firm Religare Enterprises Ltd. -- at breakneck speed after reaping $2 billion from the sale of the business their father had built. Ranbaxy was then India’s largest drugmaker. Their two other companies went on to top $1 billion in market value as India’s demand for health and financial services climbed.

India’s stock market and fraud regulators have launched investigations into financial irregularities at Religare and Fortis, although they are yet to report their findings. In July, Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare Bhd agreed to take control of Fortis and minority shareholders have taken over at Religare.

First Published: Sep 14, 2018 20:23 IST