Beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya today announced he will retire as Chairman of Sanofi India and will not seek reelection as a director of the drugmaker, nearly a month after he signed a sweetheart deal with Diageo to step down as Chairman of United Spirits Ltd .
Mallya, who has been the Chairman of the drug maker formerly known as Hoescht Pharmaceuticals, for over 32 years and served over 42 years as director, gave the similar reason of wanting to spend more time in England closer to his children as he did while agreeing to step down from USL chairmanship, for his decision.
In a letter to the Board of Directors of Sanofi India, Mallya wrote, “Having been a director of your company for over 42 years and Chairman of the board for over 32 years, I have decided it is time for me to retire without resorting to the ‘first-in, last out formula’.
He further said: “I have decided to step down progressively from my responsibilities and therefore will not be seeking as a director at the forthcoming AGM at the end of April 2016.” Elaborating reasons for his move, Mallya said: “As you are aware, I celebrated my 60th birthday and I am spending more time in England closer to my children, it is also the company’s Diamond jubilee which marks two important milestones.”
Reacting the Mallya’s letter, Sanofi India said its Board, which met today accepted his decision.
“Consequently, Mallya will cease to be a Director and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sanofi India Ltd at the conclusion of the company’s AGM,” the company said in a BSE filing.
The company said it will seek approval to appoint Aditya Narayan and Usha Thorat as Independent Directors for a term of five years each from April 30, 2016.
Mallya left the country earlier this month amid continuing efforts by banks to recover dues totalling over Rs 9,000 crore of unpaid loans and interest owed by grounded Kingfisher Airlines.
He has been summoned by Enforcement Directorate (ED) to make a personal appearance before its investigating officer in Mumbai on April 2 in connection with its money laundering probe in the over Rs 900 crore IDBI loan fraud case. He has sought more time from the agency to present himself on a later date instead of the scheduled time of March 18.
Last month, Mallya signed an agreement with Diageo under which he agreed to step down as Chairman of United Spirits in return for which he was to be paid USD 75 million, out of which USD 40 million was paid immediately and the balance to be paid over a period of five years.