Kalanithi Maran drags SpiceJet to court

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New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Friday directed SpiceJet Ltd to pass a board resolution to transfer shares to South Indian media baron Kalanithi Maran and his KAL Airways Pvt. Ltd in line with a deal under which ownership of the carrier changed hands last year.

Maran, who owns Chennai-based Sun TV Network Ltd, and KAL moved the high court over a share transfer dispute with SpiceJet, demanding that 180 million warrants redeemable as equity shares be transferred to them.

Maran and Kal transferred their entire 350.4 million equity shares in SpiceJet, amounting to a 58.46% stake in the airline, to its co-founder Ajay Singh in February 2015. Under the deal which gave Singh control of the airline, they were to receive the redeemable warrants in return for the Rs.700 crore they spent on SpiceJet towards operating costs and debt payment, they claimed.

Justice Manmohan Singh asked SpiceJet to submit to the court a draft of the proposed board resolution to be passed in favour of Maran.

“After seeing the draft, a protective order may be passed that shares will be transferred to Maran,” the court said.

SpiceJet assured the court that it will maintain status quo and not transfer shares to any third party till the court passes an order.

The court will hear the case next on 14 March.

According to a regulatory filing made by SpiceJet in February last year, Singh holds a 60.31% stake in the airline. Prior to acquiring the entire stake of Maran and Kal Airways, Singh’s shareholding stood at 1.85%.