Century-old Inox’s business split between 2 families

MUMBAI: The century-old chemicals-to-celluloid Inox Group has split its business into two, with chairman Pavan Jain gaining the industrial gas & multiplex units, and younger sibling Vivek inheriting the specialty chemicals & renewable energy portfolio. The two factions have realigned ownership interests in the businesses allotted to them so that control of their respective portfolios flows to them. Inox was founded by the duo’s grandfather. Recently, their father Devendra Jain, 92, the patriarch, signed a family accord following bickering between the two brothers over running the businesses. External advisers close to the family, including law firm Khaitan & Co and tax consultant Dhruva Advisors, assisted in the implementation of the settlement deed. The family settlement agreement was inked when shares of flagship Gujarat Fluorochemicals (GFL) were hovering at Rs 900 apiece on the BSE, sources said. The business group, which started as a paper and newsprint trading company that went on to be the country’s largest liquid medical oxygen producer during the Covid pandemic, has the fourth generation of the family involved in operations. “We have started a new growth journey and are in the process of launching a group logo under Inox GFL,” said Inox Wind director and Vivek’s son, Devansh Jain. Vivek, who is based in New Delhi, has inherited three publicly listed companies — Gujarat Fluorochemicals, Inox Wind and Inox Wind Energy — and a closely held unit, Inox Green Energy. Older brother Pavan, who is based in Mumbai, has gained two closely held outfits — Inox Air Products and Inox India — and the publicly listed Inox Leisure, the country’s second-largest multiplex player. His son Siddharth Jain (also the brother-in-law of Zee Entertainment Enterprises MD Punit Goenka) oversees the three businesses. This faction’s businesses will be grouped under Inox, which derives the name from the combination of ‘industrial oxygen’. Siddharth did not comment on the report. Devansh said, “The realignment was based on valuation linked to multiple factors, including current financial metrics and future prospects across businesses.” After the settlement, there continues to be minor cross-holdings by the two factions in each other’s companies, like Pavan has less than 1% in Gujarat Fluorochemicals, while Vivek owns about 3% in Inox Leisure. Vivek is also on the board of Inox Leisure, which was originally promoted by Gujarat Fluorochemicals.

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