VGH director denies claims of having owned a company which declared bankruptcy
Vitals Global Healthcare Director Ram Tumuluri has told The Malta Independent: “I have never had a company that went bankrupt.”
Recent reports in the media said that a company previously run by Mr Tumuluri called Ayurcare International Inc. had declared bankruptcy after trading for three years.
“I’ve never had a bankruptcy. There was a winding down of a company because the asset moved to my majority shareholder, so there was never a bankruptcy. He has taken responsibility to clear the debt from the management company that got wound down.”
Mr Tumuluri said there are plenty of companies in the world that wind down. “It’s part of business.”
Given certain confusion over who the ultimate beneficial owner of Vital Global Healthcare is, this newsroom asked Mr Tumuluri, who held that it is a private investment firm called ‘Oxley Capital Group’, with more than one investor.
The VGH-Maltese Government deal covers the operation of Karin Grech Rehabilitation Hospital, St Luke’s Hospital and the Gozo General Hospital.
A VGH official, also contacted, explained: “The UBO of Vitals Global Healthcare is the Oxley Capital Group, led by Mark Pawley as CEO. Oxley group manages $1.4 billion of assets with National Australian Bank and Mitsui, as well as private funds.”
The official, when asked, agreed that technically the investors in the fund are the ultimate beneficial owners.
Mr Pawley is also the UBO of Bluestone Special Situation #4 Ltd based in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. This company is just below Oxley on the chain. Bluestone is also the mother company
The ultimate beneficiary remains the same
of Bluestone Investments Malta Ltd, which then owns Vitals Global Healthcare as well as Gozo Global Healthcare, with a number of companies in between.
Ram Tumuluri, faced with the statement that basically it was a group of investors behind VGH, said: “Yes, it’s a private equity group, no different from a bank. A bank is not one person’s money. It’s a group of investors who come together. There is a responsibility as a regular entity to invest in a sustainable way, with the proper governance. It’s a financial institutional investment.”
Asked whether there are any Maltese investors in the group, he said no. “There are no Maltese shareholders and we have no commitments to Maltese investors on shareholding. In terms of the investors of the funds, these are institutional funds and we have a strict nondisclosure, but we follow and comply with all the requirements of a regular entity of Singapore. In terms of today’s financial world, without complete disclosure of where the funds are coming from, you cannot do business, cannot open a bank account, cannot transfer more than €10,000.”
Mr Tumuluri was asked by this newsroom about the need to create so many companies (around three for VGH) leading into Bluestone. “These are complex structures we created, not for Vitals Global Healthcare, they’ve been there for a very long time. Our investment groups come from various parts of the world. So you have to have a common location so that we can create dividends, shareholding and everything else. In the three layers of shareholding that have been created, there is only one ultimate beneficial owner, and that is Mark Pawley. The reason why we created these is as there are business entities we invested into, that’s why it’s special situation 4.
“Special situation 3 for example has other investments.”
He said that VGH was created as a special purpose vehicle created for the business in Malta. “In terms of the layers, there were some investments in the past, which were retired, but the ultimate beneficiary remains the same. Because our investments were there in those structures, we disclosed them as they were.”
Recently, government published three documents relating to the Vitals Global Healthcare deal, but many pages were blanked out, and many timeframes and figures also got the same treatment. It was recently revealed by this newsroom, that according to the contract, government had the final say as to what would be published and what would not.
Mr Tumuluri told The Malta Independent that “as an investment vehicle, a private entity, I would like the financial aspects of the agreements with government to remain confidential, as publishing them could affect the competitiveness of VGH in other countries where we intend to invest in”.
Mr Tumuluri also stressed that the agreement with government is cheaper for government, than what it spends today.
Asked about his lack of experience in the healthcare industry and his position as director at VGH, he said: “Ram Tumuluri is not VGH. VGH has board members, has over 100 years in combined experience. You are seeing me as I am one of directors, but we have a medical board comprising of 12 members which include Professor Mark Brincat and Professor Albert Fenech.”
“We have medical boards from Stanford, from Partners Healthcare, etc. Our CEO has over 25 years of healthcare experience, he’s a Harvard graduate, an MD. Ram Tumuluri is not VGH, just one of the representatives.”
He said that those who will run the hospitals have plenty of experience. “As an example Nadine Delicata who ran the hospitals for five years, is running the Gozo General Hospital. A VGH team will be overlooking the operation”.