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Rediff.com  » Business » Mallya's HK suit gives Chhabrias a hangover

Mallya's HK suit gives Chhabrias a hangover

August 04, 2004 11:19 IST

UB group chairman Vijay Mallya and the Chhabria family that controls Shaw Wallace and a clutch of other Indian companies may have withdrawn cases filed against each other. But one exception exists.

The UB group chairman has not withdrawn the case he filed in Hong Kong against the late Manohar Rajaram Chhabria as he is supposed to receive around $5.25 million from the Chhabria family, according to a source in the UB group.

A source with links to the Chhabria family, however, suggested that the figure agreed on between Mallya and the Chhabria family to settle that dispute could be in the vicinity of $8 million, but this could not be verified.

The case, which is pending with the Hong Kong High Court, is due for hearing in September.

But in Delhi, a spokesperson for the Dubai-based Chhabria family-owned Jumbo group said: "All cases have been withdrawn by both the parties."

He suggested that the two groups had agreed in principle on smoking the peace pipe and an announcement could be expected soon. The UB group source said the HK court, in the beginning of 2004, had decided that Mallya and Chhabria jointly owned a 39 per cent stake in Shaw Wallace & Company.

"The Chhabria family challenged the single judge order by going to a division bench of the court," he added.

The Hong Kong High Court ruled that Mallya was a part of a joint venture, which acquired a 39 per cent stake in Shaw Wallace in 1985. The joint venture was between a Chhabria-controlled company and a firm owned by an overseas trust, in which Mallya was a beneficiary.

The UB group executive said: "Mallya was not directly involved in picking up the shares in Shaw Wallace. It is one of the overseas trusts, in which he was a beneficiary, and a Chhabria group firm signed a memorandum of understating. As per the MoU, the companies picked up shares of Shaw Wallace through R G Shaw & Co," he explained.

He added that the trust invested around $ 5.25 million in the joint venture to acquire the RG Shaw shares.
BS Corporate Bureau in Mumbai/Delhi