Torrent group to split responsibilities between two promoter brothers

Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd, the flagship company of Ahmadabad-based Torrent group, will see a churn in its top management. Sudhir Mehta, chairman of the home-grown pharma major, has decided to step down to focus on the power business, subject to approval from shareholders, the company said in the filing to BSE. 

Sudhir Mehta, however, has been requested by the board to take the position of Chairman Emeritus. 

"The board has reluctantly acceded to his desire and has also requested him to accept the position of Chairman Emeritus and continue to benefit the company…on key business and strategic matters,” it said in the disclosure.

Samir Mehta, his younger brother, is expected to take over his responsibilities. The board of Torrent Pharmaceuticals has recommended appointment of Samir Mehta as the Vice-Chairman of the Rs 4,200 crore Torrent Pharma, the disclosure said.   

The changes in the management will see the entire business being divided between two brothers with Sudhir Mehta looking after the power business, while Samir Mehta will run the pharmaceutical unit.

The changes will come into effect after the annual general meeting of the group which is scheduled to be held on July 30.

Torrent group was set up in 1959 by first generation entrepreneur UN Mehta, father of Sudhir Mehta and Samir Mehta. Sudhir joined the family business in early 1970s and took control of the group after the demise of his father. 

Sudhir led the firm’s foray into the power sector in the mid-90s after buying out state-run firms—Ahmedabad Electricity Company and Surat Electricity Company—which supplied power to Ahmedabad and Surat. Sudhir has two sons—Jinal and Varun—and both of them are associated with the group's power business.

According to media reports, the transition process informally started from 2009-10 when the younger brother Samir Mehta, who was the executive vice chairman, started showing interest in the pharma business of the group. The pharmaceutical arm of the group has witnessed robust growth over the years.

Recently, the group agreed to acquire Indian branded formulation business of Elder Pharmaceuticals for Rs 2,004 crore. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2014. 

On Friday, Torrent Pharmaceuticals announced its annual results and posted a growth of 53 per cent in its net profit for the fiscal ended on March 2014, while its revenue grew by 30 per cent year on year.

Shares of Torrent Pharma closed at Rs 642.80 per share on Monday, up 2.78 per cent on the BSE from its previous close, in a strong Mumbai market.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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