Bharat Forge chief Baba Kalyani’s worries multiply as nephew and niece demand share in property

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New Delhi: Baba Kalyani, the 75-year old chairman of Bharat Forge, the flagship company of Kalyani Group, is reportedly being taken to court by his nephew Sameer Hiremath and niece Pallavi Hiremath, who are seeking a share of the family property. The brother-sister duo have staked claim to a share of Kalyani Group as well as private and listed companies in which it holds a majority stake citing their rights under the Hindu Undivided Family Act. They cited investments made in Bharat Forge and other companies of the Kalyani Group that were made by the joint family of Annapa Kalyani, Baba Kalyani’s father.

To be sure, Bharat Forge categorically denied the allegations made by the petitioners stating: “The claims by the petitioners have been made with the intent to malign the image of Shri Baba Kalyani, his family and the Group.”

The petitioners had not share a copy of the lawsuit with the defendants, according to the company. “As and when the suit is served on us, we will defend our position before the court of law, including initiating appropriate civil/criminal defamation proceedings for tarnishing the image of Mr. Kalyani, his family and the Group,” said an official spokesperson at Bharat Forge.

What is the Kalyani family dispute about?

In 1994, the Kalyani family arrived upon an agreement over the distribution of family property. Baba Kalyani and his sister Sugandha Hiremath are already locked in a court battle over the ownership of Hikal Chemicals, a company which was scheduled to be transferred to Sugandha and her husband Jaydev Hiremath.

They alleged that Baba Kalyani was not respecting the 1994 agreement and gradually boosting his stake in Hikal Chemicals. The Hiremaths own a 35 per cent stake in Hikal while Baba Kalyani holds a 34 per cent stake in the company.

This is not the only dispute plaguing the Kalyani family. Baba Kalyani has also been fighting a case since 2014 brought against him by his niece Sheetal Kalyani seeking the division of Kalyani family property. Sheetal is the daughter of Baba Kalyani’s brother Gaurishankar.

Bharat Forge share price

The share price of Bharat Forge slipped 0.05 per cent to Rs 1,129.45 apiece at 1 pm on Wednesday. Baba Kalyani succeeded his father Neelkanth Rao A Kalyani who founded the company in 1961. Baba Kalyani has been with the world’s second-largest forging company since 1972.

With a net worth of $4 billion, Baba Kalyani is India’s 55th richest person. The Pune resident owns a football team, Bharat FC. He runs Bharat Forge with his son Amit. Under Baba Kalyani, who holds an engineering degree from MIT, Bharat Forge has diversified into manufacturing air defence systems as well as EV powertrain manufacturing.

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