Rahul Bajaj, chairman, Bajaj Auto, has denied the charge that he wants to take over Bajaj Hindusthan (BHL).
His cousin Shishir Bajaj's son, Kushagra Bajaj, CEO, Bajaj Hindustan, who has modernised the sugar company and hiked capacity ever since he took charge, has also accused his uncle of wanting to wrest control of the group's sugar business for his younger son, Sanjiv Bajaj.
Rahul Bajaj, in an interview to business channel CNBC-TV18, has said that there was no intention of Sanjiv Bajaj running Bajaj Hindusthan. CNBC-TV18 shares with domain-b its exclusive interview with Rahul Bajaj:
What exactly is happening? Are you indeed trying to wrest control of Bajaj Hindustan?
The ownership control of Bajaj Hindustan has never left me. My nephew Kushagra Bajaj is doing well with Bajaj Hindustan. All allegations made are not correct.
The four brothers including me are ready to make a settlement, which has been arrived at, which includes four parts. Kushagra, for reasons known to him, accepts two but doesn't accept the other two.
I can categorically tell you we have no desire to take control of Bajaj Hindustan for my son or anybody else.
We already have ownership control. They themselves say that they are one and we are four. They have given the shareholding patterns in general. So we own the majority stake in Bajaj Hindusthan. We have no desire even to retain it and we want to give back the shares at the price agreed.
How much do you own directly in Bajaj Hindusthan?
None of us own anything directly; very little. It's all through Bachraj Company and Jamnalal Sons and those companies. These are all as per charges given in The Times of India. They didn't even speak to me, or anybody on our side. They have given a one-sided story.
But information in terms of charts is accurate. In totality, we four brothers control 75 per cent and Shishir controls 25 per cent.
In all companies, there is a position of the promoter's equity of course.
Anyway, it has been made categorical that we control Bajaj Hindusthan but I will also like to say that we have no desire to take control, when the control is already there.
Whatever Bajaj Auto has bought, which is 1.9 per cent - we may buy more tomorrow - it's a treasury operation. Everybody knows Bajaj Auto bought it at an average of Rs160 or less; this price for Bajaj Hindusthan has gone up to Rs560 in less than a year. The company is doing very well.
You are bullish on sugar right now?
I am not bullish on sugar now because the market prices have gone down but I feel it is just an 'up-and-down' volatility phenomenon because it's a commodity.
But in the latest annual report of Bajaj Hindusthan, it has had a post-tax profit of Rs190 crore, and turnover of Rs1,600 crore and the director's reports and the chairman's statement and Kushagra's statement are very positive.
Anyway the point is, first, it is a treasury operation, and second, we already have control. So what is the issue?
The issue seems to be the allegation that you want Sanjeev to run that company. Is that true?
No, I do not want to get into this soap opera. Kushagra is free to say what he wants. He didn't say so for so many years. We are four and he is one - in fact there is every sympathy he is one and we are four; three brothers are on my side so I do not know what I vilified him or his father with.
They are my brothers and my nephew and I am not trying to deny it; it's a fact of life and it is unfortunate we have this difference in the family.
It happens almost in all families unfortunately. We didn't have this difference till five years ago; now it has happened. We do business in one way; they do business in a different way. Their way seems to be very successful; perhaps more successful than mine and I wish them all the best.
I stand by the agreement that we have arrived at with them and I repeat I have no desire for myself, my brothers or my sons to take control of Bajaj Hindusthan in terms of management control.
But by going to the media and indulging in soap operas, they think they can put pressure on us to accept something, which is not fair or reasonable. They will have to wait for quite a long time; that won't be done.