Takeover battle begins at Oswal Greentech and Oswal Agro Mills
NEW DELHI: A corporate battle has ensued over control of Oswal Greentech and Oswal Agro Mills, companies which were set up by Abhey Oswal, who died late last month.
While Oswal’s widow, Aruna, has been appointed director on the boards of both the companies, his son, Pankaj, has claimed to be the legal heir. The two companies have revenues of over Rs 10 crore, according to data available on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
On Monday, an FIR was lodged against Pankaj, his wife Radhika and other associates in Delhi’s Barakhamba Road police station after he allegedly took away some papers from one of the companies. Apart from Pankaj, Abhey Oswal has two other children – Shail, a non-resident with interest in music, and Shalu, who is married to JSPL chairman Naveen Jindal.
At the heart of the row is the absence of a will. When contacted, Oswal Greentech MD Anil Bhalla told ETrealty that Aruna had been appointed chairman as she was the largest shareholder with around 20% stake. Pankaj, he said, had around 5,000 shares.
“After Mr Oswal’s death, we took her consent and the board of directors appointed her the chairperson,” Bhalla said. Pankaj claims to be the legal heir citing that he was made to wear the “pagri”, which he saw as a sign that the Oswal family recognized him as the main heir to head the business. In the early 1980s, Oswal Agro had bought several plants.
Citing his mother’s lack of experience in managing a business, Pankaj now plans to fight a legal battle to establish control over the companies. He claims to have run successful businesses globally, having founded Burrup Fertilisers in Australia. According to news reports, Pankaj Oswal and his wife, Radhika, have been involved in some court cases related to Burrup.
Oswal Agro and Oswal Greentech are now largely engaged in investments and real estate businesses. Oswal Greentech, earlier Oswal Chemicals and Fertilizers, had sold its fertiliser business to Iffco over a decade ago. The Oswals originally belonged to Ludhiana, but Abhey Oswal moved to Delhi in the 1990s. One part of the Oswal family is still engaged in the hosiery and woollens business. Abhay Oswal had built a reputation of taking over businesses.