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Lalit Modi resigned from 6 firms ahead of passport revocation

By N Sundaresha Subramanian
June 22, 2015 08:23 IST
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Five of these have wound up since, according to records of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs

Lalit Modi quit as director of six companies in a span of two months between November 2010 and January 2011. Five of these companies shut down soon after, according to records available with the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA).

The dates of cessation of directorships of Modi coincide with the time during which he got into trouble with Indian regulators and central investigative agencies, eventually losing his passport in March 2011. Modi was at the helm during the first three editions of the IPL between 2008 and 2010. His troubles started with the induction of two new teams in Sahara Pune Warriors and Kochi Tuskers in to the league towards the end of the third edition.

Several top corporations, including the Adani group and Videocon, were said to be in the race for the two new slots, which were allotted at eye-popping valuations. Allegations of irregularities began almost immediately and in a tweet in April 2010, Modi revealed the equity structure of Rendezvous Sports, which had bought the Kochi IPL team.

The revelations led to the resignation of then Union minister Shashi Tharoor. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) initiated a probe against Modi and by May that year, he moved to London.

The first of the cessations came on November 4, 2010, two months after he was sacked as the commissioner of IPL by BCCI in September 2010. On this day, Modi stepped down as director of KKM Management Centre Ltd.

In December that year, he resigned from the boards of Modi Films Entertainment, Juniorbuzz.com and WD Consumer Products.

On January 17, 2011, he stepped down from Modicare Sales and Services Limited and Modi Entertainers Networks Pvt Ltd. Of these six companies, only KKM Management is active. The status of remaining five companies is marked as “strike-off”, which in MCA parlance means that the company has been closed.

According to a 2009 profile of Modi in The Telegraph newspaper, WD Consumer Products was joint venture company, which was sold off to the overseas partner Walt Disney for Rs 60 crore (Rs 600 million).

Modi did not respond to questions sent on Wednesday seeking the reason behind the timing of the exits and the subsequent strike-offs.

MCA records show that Modi has been on the board of 24 Indian companies, including that of the KK Modi group flagship Godfrey Phillips India Ltd (GPIL).

Last month, he resigned from GPIL board. While this resignation is yet to reflect on MCA records, he continues to be a whole-time director on the board of KK Modi Investment and Financial Services Pvt Ltd (KKMIFS).  With a 29.23 per cent stake, KKMIFS is the main promoter group entity of GPIL.

Of the remaining companies, four - Touchwood Investment, Indo Euro Investment, Modi Reach Finance and Investment (India)  and Marketing and Brand Solutions (India) - are shown as “amalgamated”, which means these do not exist in their original form.

Twelve other companies, including Ananda Heritage Hotels - which is the subject of investigations for alleged irregularities involving Dushyant Singh, the son of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundara Raje - are also active. Ananda Heritage is the only company in which both Modi and his wife Minalini are directors. Separately, Minalini is on the boards of Doruka Designs and Beacon Travels. On August 2, 2010, she gave up directorships of two companies namely Ananda Developers and Ananda Advisory Services. Both have been struck off since.

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N Sundaresha Subramanian in New Delhi
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