One of the investors behind Vitals Global Healthcare tried to stop the sale of the Malta hospital concession to Steward Healthcare claiming he never received the dues he was entitled to following his investment, according to court documents.
Ashok Rattehalli filed a warrant of prohibitory injunction against Blue Investments Malta and Vitals Global Healthcare on 19 December for “his rights to be secured”. To protect those rights, Rattehalli wanted to prevent VGH from selling or transferring shares to third parties that may result in the removal or decrease of the shares he was entitled to in the company.
Court documents submitted by Rattehalli refer to an agreement signed between the parties on 12 May 2015 between Sri Rum Tumuluri representing VGH and Rattehalli in which the latter was entitled to five per cent of the shares of the company through a clause which kicked in after VGH signed the agreement with the Maltese government.
On top of his five per cent share, Rattehalli was promised a seat on the Medical Board as well as in the Operating Management Team. In the court documents submitted by Rattehalli, he says he got nothing.
Rattehalli was “one of the original promoters of a group of persons/entities which, from a technical, administrative and financial perspective, together formulated a bid for the management and administration of a number of hospitals in the Maltese Islands as evidenced in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered into by and between such group on the 23 November, 2014,” according to court documents.
The MoU among the investors was signed a month after the government signed another secret MoU with the investors.
Rattehalli’s submission to court proves that the government’s secretive agreement with the investors was signed five months before the Request for Proposals for the hospital concession was issued in March 2015, confirming doubts that the deal was already sealed for the investors behind VGH.
The warrant of prohibitory injunction details how the group formulated the bid through a company set up for the purpose – Bluestone Investments Ltd – which controls VGH. Mark Pawley and Sri Ram Tumuluri are the first directors of Bluestone Investments Ltd.
When news of the sale of the hospitals concession to Steward Healthcare broke last month, Rattehalli was concerned he would be left with nothing despite his agreement with Tumuluri.
“Recently the plaintiff [Rattehalli] received information to the effect that the company VGH will be sold to third parties and that, consequently, his rights would continue to be prejudiced, this time irremediably,” the warrant of prohibitory injunction states, asking the court to protect his rights by preventing the deal.
The warrant of prohibitory injunction was then suddenly withdrawn earlier this month. It is not clear whether this is because a new agreement has been reached with Rattehalli to allow VGH to sell the hospitals concession to Steward Healthcare.