The dispute between the promoters of Hikal, a manufacturer of various chemical intermediates, specialty chemicals, and active pharma ingredients, has taken a new twist. Escalating the dispute, the Kalyani Group – BF Investment Ltd (BFIL) and Kalyani Investment Company Ltd (KICL) have accused Hikal of making “entirely inaccurate and misleading” disclosure to the stock exchanges.

BFIL and KICL on Saturday disclosed to the stock exchanges that they are not parties to any family arrangement with respect to equity shares held by them in Hikal and the shares held by them “are not the subject matter of any family arrangement as alleged, or otherwise”.

The disclosure came in response to Hikal’s stock exchange disclosure on Friday which stated that co-promoters (the Hiremath family) had disclosed a 1994 family agreement, under which shares of Hikal held by KICL and BFIL were required to be transferred to the Hiremath Family. It further added that Sugandha Hiremath and Jai Hiremath have filed a suit with the Bombay High Court seeking specific performance of this arrangement.

In response, BFIL and KICL said that the written statement filed by Baba Kalyani with the Bombay High Court has denied the existence of the so-called family agreement and the matter is sub-judice.

Under the amended SEBI LODR Regulations, all the shareholders and promoters have to disclose any such agreement to the stock exchanges.

Hikal’s shareholding structure

Hikal’s shareholding is divided into three main blocks, with the Hiremath family owning 34.84 per cent, the Baba Kalyani group holding 34 per cent and the public shareholders having the remaining.

BFIL and KICL had contested their inclusion as parties in the suit stating that they are separate distinct legal entities and were not parties to any such alleged ‘family arrangement’.

According to these companies, any such move will have the effect of depriving public shareholders (of these respective companies) of the property owned by the listed entities. They have also contended that the shareholders of these two listed companies have traded for over a decade on the basis of their assets and any act that adversely affects such shareholders would be a gross injustice to them.

As per the June quarter shareholding pattern, BFIL has over 20,000 retail shareholders and KICL has about 16,000 retail shareholders.

Earlier, a proxy advisory InGovern said the ongoing dispute has put Hikal into an uncertain future with respect to its growth plans as management bandwidth could be severely constrained and distracted given that the managing director of the company is a member of one of the warring promoter groups.