Cigarette maker Godfrey Phillips India Ltd and other assets of the KK Modi group are up for sale, one of the late industrialist’s sons has said, but the Indian partner of US-based Philip Morris International Inc. denied any such plan.
Lalit Modi, a former Indian cricket administrator who now lives in London, said in a series of tweets that he wanted all assets of the group to be sold after his father passed away in November last year. KK Modi’s wife, Bina, and other children Samir and Charu are also involved in family businesses.
The businesses that are up for sale include Godfrey Phillips, 24Seven convenience stores and Indofil Industries Ltd, Lalit Modi said. The family will retain a few businesses including cosmetics brand Colorbar, restaurant chain Ego and Beacon Travels.
All companies/ land / investments in any other companies - and assets listed on https://t.co/ZiEHDaVnkT will be on sale except - #colorbar / ego / Beacon Travels and education businesses. Which will be retained to be run by Samir / BINA / Charu. Rest on sale. Including #indofil pic.twitter.com/6tl6xNKV5M— Lalit Kumar Modi (@LalitKModi) January 27, 2020
Lalit Modi also said that he didn’t approve of his mother, Bina Modi, managing the group as she is “not qualified to run such [a] large corporation and will dilute our value”. The asset sale was approved at the first meeting of the trust that runs the group on November 30, 2019, he said, adding that the sale must be completed by November 29, 2020.
Modi also tweeted that an investment banker will be appointed to sell the companies to the highest bidder and that the banker will be assisted by the group CEO RK Malhotra.
Separately, Godfrey Phillips said in a stock-exchange filing that it is neither engaged nor privy to any such discussions on the rumored potential transaction by its promoters.
“The company has also received a clarification from its significant promoter that there has been no decision to put its assets on sale,” it said.
The Modi family and various trusts hold a stake of around 47% in the cigarette maker while Philip Morris owns 25.1%.