VGH di­rec­tor de­nies claims of hav­ing owned a com­pany which de­clared bank­ruptcy

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - Kevin Schem­bri Or­land

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”.

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