Never miss a great news story!
Get instant notifications from Economic Times
AllowNot now


You can switch off notifications anytime using browser settings.
10,829.3588.0
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Yatra Online, ATB locked in bitter dispute

In a statement to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Yatra said it intended to vigorously defend itself while cooperating fully with the police in their investigation.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jun 11, 2019, 10.29 AM IST
0Comments
Getty Images
dispute - getty
Yatra said, as per the July 20, 2017 agreement between its Indian unit and ATB, the final payment for the remaining shares was to be made at a later stage, but that hasn’t happened so far as the two parties couldn’t agree on the valuation for the final payment.
NEW DELHI: Yatra Online has termed the allegations levelled against it by the chairman of Air Travel Bureau (ATB), a company in which the Nasdaq-listed travel portal acquired a majority stake in 2017, as “entirely false and frivolous” in a statement to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. ATB chairman Sunil Narain told ET it would be wrong to allege the complaint is frivolous and baseless.

Sunil Narain last week filed an FIR against Yatra at the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police, accusing it of cheating, falsification of accounts, criminal breach of trust and forgery of documents. Yatra, which had paid Narain and his associates about Rs 51 crore for 50.94% of the corporate travel services company, was to acquire the remaining stake in a second round of transaction.

In his petition, Narain said Yatra tried to depress the value for the balance stake sale through fraudulent means after taking charge of ATB. He accused Yatra of fudging ATB’s books to circumvent payments, which he claimed were due to him as the balance consideration for selling his stake to it. According to Narain, the accused demanded that the financial affairs of ATB be handed over to it, and it was agreed that a nominee of it would be appointed as the chief financial officer. Certain sales in ATB's books were falsified thereafter to suppress its valuation because Narain's payout was linked to its financial performance, the FIR said.

"The complaint was lodged on the basis of substantial material available with us, and also publicly available, which shows that Yatra and its officials engaged in various offences including cheating, breach of trust, falsification of accounts, etc. The FIR was lodged by the Economic Offences Wing, New Delhi, after preliminary investigation and on coming to a prima facie opinion that the complaint discloses cognizable criminal offences under Indian Penal Code, and therefore it would be wrong to allege that the complaint is frivolous and baseless," Narain told ET.

In a statement to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Yatra said it intended to vigorously defend itself while cooperating fully with the police in their investigation.

Yatra said as per the July 20, 2017, agreement between its Indian unit and ATB, the final payment for the remaining shares was to be made at a later stage, but that hasn’t happened so far as the two parties couldn’t agree on the valuation for the final payment.

In its statement to the SEC, Yatra said it filed a petition in the Delhi High Court on May 30 this year, seeking interim relief against Narain. The court issued an order granting certain interim relief to Yatra India and also referred the matter to arbitration, it said.

"As mentioned by Yatra in their filing before the SEC in the United States, arbitration proceedings have commenced between the two parties. Therefore, we would like to refrain from commenting further at the moment. But, we would like to clarify that interim orders exist on both parties to the dispute, and not only in favour of Yatra India, as indicated by them before the SEC," Narain said.

“The present issue at its core is a civil dispute between the shareholders of ATB and the same is in arbitration before an arbitrator appointed by the Delhi High Court even prior to the registration of the FIR, with the consent of both parties. While Yatra believes that the complaint has been filed for collateral purposes, we have already participated in the preliminary enquiry and intend to cooperate fully with the investigating agency. As this moves forward, Yatra will take appropriate action and put forth its position in accordance with legal advice. We are constrained to comment anything further as the matter is sub judice," a Yatra spokesperson told ET.
0Comments

Also Read

Ebix to buy Yatra online in all-stock deal for $239 million

Yatra online plans to raise Rs 332.6 crore

Yatra Online agrees to be acquired by Nasdaq-listed Terrapin 3 Acquisition Corp

Yatra Online plans IPO

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.
Download The Economic Times News App for Quarterly Results, Latest News in ITR, Business, Share Market, Live Sensex News & More.

Other useful Links


Follow us on


Download et app


Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service