Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004
Corporate - Corporate Disputes
Birla Corp board meet passes off smoothly
Mr R.S. Lodha, who chaired the Birla Corp board meeting, talking to mediapersons in Kolkata on Tuesday. - Parth Sanyal
Kolkata , July 20
CONTRARY to the expectations, the Tuesday's board meeting of Birla Corporation Ltd, the flagship of the M.P. Birla Group, passed off smoothly and in a cordial atmosphere. The meeting was chaired by Mr R.S. Lodha, co-chairman of the company.
According to a director who was present at the meeting, a two-minute silence was observed in memory of the former chairman, the late Priyamvada Birla.
The director clarified that no representative of the financial institutions present at the meeting opposed Mr Lodha's chairmanship. Mrs Nandini Nopany, daughter of Mr K.K. Birla, one of the Birla scions to oppose Mr Lodha's claim of inheritance, was also present at the meeting as a director.
All the nine members of the board were present at the meeting, including Mr R.S. Lodha's younger son, Mr Harsh Lodha.
The meeting began after 11 in the morning and was over within an hour.
When asked whether all board members supported Mr Lodha's chairmanship, he said: "I will not go into further details. Please try to read between the lines."
While leaving the meeting, Mr Lodha too confirmed the fact that he chaired the meeting.
When asked whether he was happy with the fact that the meeting passed off as it should have, he said: "It is good for Birla Corporation. Whatever has happened is good for the company."
Several questions were put to Mr Lodha by the media, but the latter only muttered "I have no comment to make".
Meanwhile, the director concerned said that the board members preferred not to mix up the issue of Mr Lodha's claim with the functioning of the Birla Corporation.
"This was just a meeting on Birla Corporation and had nothing to do with Mrs Birla's will. So that subject was not discussed at all," he added.
Though the board members approved the first quarter results of the company, they could not finalise the date and the venue of the company's annual general meeting.
For the quarter ended June 30, Birla Corporation registered a net profit of Rs 29.4 crore against Rs 20.24 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Total income (net of excise) during the quarter increased to Rs 301.7 crore from Rs 260.62 crore.
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