The Bombay HC has refused to grant extension to Elder Pharmaceutics to repay investors money on the grounds of protecting the investor’s interest, especially the small investors who have put their life savings in the pharma company. Elder Pharmaceuticals has to repay money to the tune of Rs 155 crore to various investors.
The court implied that pharma companies cannot be given an indefinite extension as it affects considering strongly the sentiments of many small investors in the company.
The HC has also given its opinion on the existing financial condition of the company, saying that it may not be possible for the company to repay immediately as it already has to settle a debenture loan to the tune of 263 crore. It may not be in a position to repay at all, as implied by the court.
Justice S C Gupte last week rejected an appeal filed by the company challenging an order passed by the Company Law Board (CLB) refusing to grant further time to repay the deposits.
Elder Pharmaceuticals sought further time on the ground that it had opened talks with financiers to infuse fresh equity of Rs 170 crore into the ailing company.
Justice Gupte noted that while the company has been talking of this new deal for a long time, it will not help it pay the deposit holders because of an existing commitment to pay a clutch of debenture holders Rs 263 crore first.
“Many of the depositors are small-time investors and individuals who have invested their life’s savings in the company to fund their retirements as children’s education. These investors cannot be asked to wait indefinitely till the company executes an agreement with a financier and the financier, in turn, brings in the finance.” the court said.
HC also admitted 24 winding up petitions against the company, run by TV actor Anuj Saxena, who is the COO, and his brother Alok, who is the firm’s CEO.