Maran had sought attachment of SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh’s shares by an administrator unless the payment was made.
Kalanithi Maran, owner of Sun Group and ex-promoter of SpiceJet, has moved Delhi high court (HC), seeking attachment of SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh’s shareholding after the airline failed to deposit Rs 243 crore in favour of Sun Group chairman.
The case predates to 2017 and relates to a dispute arising out of non-issuance of warrants in favour of Maran, after transfer of ownership to Ajay Singh - the current promoter of SpiceJet.
In September, Delhi HC had asked SpiceJet to deposit an additional Rs 243 crore.
The court had then said that if the amount was not deposited within six weeks, Maran had the right to seek status quo on SpiceJet’s shareholding.
It meant the company would not be able raise new capital from the market through issuance of fresh shares or stake sale.
Since the amount wasn’t deposited, Maran moved Delhi HC, seeking restraint on Singh from transferring or pledging the company’s shares.
Maran had also sought attachment of Singh’s shares by an administrator unless the payment was made.
However, a SpiceJet spokesperson confirmed that the company has moved Supreme Court (SC) against the original order of Delhi HC.
“We have moved SC saying that the very basic premise under which Maran had moved court again despite a ruling from the arbitration was wrong.
"The company has challenged the interest obligations and rights,” said a SpiceJet executive, adding it expects the case to be heard by the SC soon.
Maran had sold his entire 58.46 per cent stake, amounting to 350.4 million shares in SpiceJet, to Singh, its current owner, for a nominal Rs 2 in 2015, after a financial crunch crippled its operation, leading to a change in ownership of the airline.
The two sides have since been locked in litigation, with Maran accusing SpiceJet and Singh of breach of agreement for not issuing him 189-million share warrants and preference shares, despite his Rs 679-crore infusion.
He claimed Rs 1,300 crore from SpiceJet and Singh due to this.
The warrants, if converted into equity, would have given Maran and his KAL Airways a 24 per cent stake in the airline.
SpiceJet contended these could not be issued, as they did not get the BSE’s approval.
Subsequently, in July 2018, an arbitration tribunal ruled in SpiceJet’s favour, rejecting Maran’s Rs 1,300-claim for loss on account of non-issuance of share warrants.
However, Maran will be entitled to a refund of Rs 579 crore - the subscription amount he made for warrants and preference shares.
Photograph: Shailesh Andrade/Reuters