Raymond’s independent directors should ask the promoters to step down, and actions must be taken to address the ‘long-drawn acrimonious battle’ between chairman and managing director Gautam Singhania and his estranged wife, board member Nawaz Modi, said proxy advisory firm Institutional Investor Advisory Services India Limited (IiAS) in an open letter on Tuesday.
“Despite such serious and heinous accusations by one board member against another, you have remained silent. Investors are worried, as reflected in the significant erosion in stock price over the past few days. Your silence can be misconstrued – surely you don’t want stakeholders thinking that these accusations are to be tolerated,” the advisory firm wrote in an open letter.
On Tuesday, Raymond Group stock listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) dropped to close at ₹1,578. Before Singhania announced his divorce with Nawaz Modi, Raymond shares were trading at over ₹1889 apiece.
The advisory firm suggested undertaking an independent investigation into allegations of both assault and CEO excesses.
“For the duration of this investigation, you must consider asking both Nawaz Modi and Gautam Singhania to take time off from their responsibilities as board members,” the letter from IiAS added.
However, Singhania has assured his employees and board members of the “smooth functioning”.
Singhania, in an internal communication to his employees last week, wrote, “As the media is rife with news about matters pertaining to my personal life, I am writing to you to say that I have chosen not to comment on the same as maintaining the dignity of my family is paramount to me. However, I remain resolute as Chairman & Managing Director and am fully committed towards the smooth functioning of the company and its business. Even in these difficult times for me, I assure you that at Raymond it is business as usual,” Mint reported.
The communication comes after Singhania’s public spat with his wife Nawaz Modi, who has accused the Raymond boss of domestic violence. Modi has reportedly sought 75 per cent of Singhania’s $1.4 billion fortune as part of a settlement.