IndiGo promoters’ rift: No desire to take control of firm, says Rakesh Gangwal

InterGlobe Aviation owns and manages IndiGo, which has around 44 per cent share in the domestic air passenger market. (File)

Amid reports that promoters of IndiGo Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal appointed separate law firms to settle a dispute between the two pertaining to management control, the airline’s CEO Ronojoy Dutta said on Saturday the firm had a great track record in resolving such matters.

"If the current differences were to not get resolved, you shall certainly hear about it; however, it serves no purpose speculating about it," Dutta said in a press release.

According to one source, the tension between the two promoters has been simmering since exit announcement of the airline s CEO Aditya Ghosh in April last year and the consequent appointment of expatriates in management positions.

Explained | Why are IndiGo promoters at loggerheads

A chunk of the expatriate executives at IndiGo, the source said, were handpicked by Gangwal from his former employer United Airlines.

"We all know, that in any strong and well-managed company there will always be differences. And, yes, there may be differences currently on certain matters but the company has a great track record of resolving issues and coming out ahead," he said.

The CEO further said he "deeply resents and wishes" to dispel all attempts to portray "us as a fractured team at IndiGo".

As of March 31, Rahul Bhatia held a 38 per cent stake in Interglobe Aviation, the parent company of IndiGo, while Gangwal held a 37 per cent share in the company.

On his part, Gangwal said there was no desire by him to take control of the company. "I am categorically and clearly stating that there is no interest or desire whatsoever on the part of the RG (Rakesh Gangwal) Group to take control of the company," the statement said.

"Also, to put to rest the messaging on the fact that the RG Group is attempting to renegotiate the Shareholders Agreement (SHA), I am placing on record that the RG Group stands by the current SHA which, in any case, expires this October," the airline statement said.

In addition to the appointment of management personnel, it is learnt that IndiGo s recent financial performance has also been one of the points of contention between Gangwal and Bhatia. For the December-quarter of 2018-19, IndiGo reported a 75 per cent fall in net profit at Rs 190.90 crore.