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Birlas rule out compromise formula
July 16, 2004 15:39 IST
Last Updated: July 16, 2004 15:59 IST
The Birlas on Friday categorically ruled out the possibility of a compromise formula with R S Lodha over the issue of inheritance of M P Birla's assets.
A senior member of the Birla clan, S K Birla, told PTI in an interview, "As far as this (compromise) aspect is concerned, there is no such talk. Neither party has approached the other and there is no such proposal to do so."
Asked whether the Birlas -- K K Birla, B K Birla, Kumaramangalam Birla, and S K Birla himself -- would fight it out in the court, he said that a certified copy of the will had been sought from Lodha.
He said once it was obtained, lawyers would carefully study and examine it; after which a decision would be taken.
Birla expressed surprise why Lodha was not forthcoming in handing over a copy of the will, which according him, 'purportedly' mentioned bequeathing M P Birla's property and assets to R S Lodha, co-chairman of Birla Corporation, the flagship company of the group, and statutory auditor to several Birla group companies.
Priyamvada Birla, who died on July 3, bequeathed the entire assets worth more than Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 50 billion) of the M P Birla group to Lodha by a will which was opened last Monday.
Lodha had been close to the M P Birla family for two decades and was co-chairman of the company for the last five years.
S K Birla, who is the chairman of Birla VXL Limited, Saurashtra Chemicals and Mysore Cements, said that the Birlas were still maintaining a cordial relationship with the Lodhas, adding that they had been very well received at the Shraadh ceremony of Priyamvada Birla, wife of late M P Birla, at the Birla Park residence yesterday.
To a question, a source close to the Birla family said that M P Birla's stake in Pilani Investments was not crucial as it was a minority shareholding only.
The source said that Lodha's claim about stakeholding in Pilani Investments by virtue of getting M P Birla's assets was not true.
According to the source, Lodha would have no right to stake claim for a director's berth in any of the companies where Pilani Investments had shareholding.
Pilani Investments was the key holding company of the Birla family and has sizable investments in companies like Grasim Industries, Hindalco, Kesoram Industries, Century Textiles and several other Birla units.