Conflict of Interest
Ace investment banker Rajeev Gupta, apart from stitching together big deals such as the $13 billion sale of Essar Oil to Russia’s Rosneft, is also a keen environmentalist. In the past, he has fulfilled his mother’s wishes by planting fruit-bearing trees on three acres in Kashmir as a bird habitat. In Mumbai, after he created a green cover near his home, he has approached the municipal body to plant around 2,000 trees in and around the area, besides taking on the responsibility of caring for them. Hope he gets a ‘green’ signal in a city that’s ever-increasingly covered in concrete, steel and glass. A large steelmaker recently made an offer to buy a smaller rival owned by the buyer’s close relatives. The two families agreed to a deal in principle and then approached the lenders, who call the shots because of the company’s heavy debt. The deal did not pass muster with the lenders, though, who objected on the grounds of a conflict of interest. They said any haircut of debt by lenders will be scrutinised by investigating agencies since the deal is between related parties. Now the company has been referred to the National Company Tribunal.