Hinduja Conglomerate May Be Divided

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Hinduja Conglomerate May Be Divided
Srichand and Gopichand Hinduja, speak to journalists outside a court in New Delhi in February 2001. © REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

The Hinduja family is reportedly nearing resolution to a long-running feud and could divide a business empire that includes Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd.

The family has not, however, disclosed details of how its businesses might be divided, let alone how a break-up would affect the lubes company.

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The Hinduja Group is headquartered in Mumbai and along with the lubricant business owns automaker Ashok Leyland plus businesses in healthcare, hospitality, land development, media and internet technology. It is co-owned by the four sons of founder Parmanand Deepchand Hinduja. The eldest, Srichand Hinduja, is co-chairman along with the next oldest, Gopichand.

In 2014 they and brothers Prakash and Ashkok signed a short statement that “everything belongs to everyone, and nothing belongs to anyone,” which afterward served as the basis for their co-ownership. A number of disputes arose over the past few years, though, some involving disagreements about control of some family businesses and even validity of the 2014 document. Some of the disputes ended up in court, mainly in London where Srichand and Gopichand reside.

The family has largely sought to keep its disputes out of the public eye, but a London court ruled in August on resolution of a fight about funding for home care for Srichand Hinduja. That ruling, which was published this week, indicated that the family also told the court that members have agreed to set aside the 2014 agreement, according to news reports.

A Nov. 16 article in the Economic Times said family members gave themselves until the end of this month to resolve how to divide the conglomerate and that the matter will revert to the London court is an accord is not reached.

Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd. Is one of the 10 largest lube suppliers in India. Sister company Gulf Oil International supplies lubricants in various countries around the world, though not in the United States, Spain or Portugal, where rights to the Gulf brand name are owned by other entities.

The Hinduja Group and Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd. did not respond to a request for comment for this article.

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