Pharmaceuticals firm Morepen Laboratories Ltd has approached the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) seeking to retrieve money Wockhardt owes it for producing and delivering medicines for the Indian drugmaker on a contract.
Morepen is trying to recover around Rs 1.55 crore, along with interest, from Wockhardt on account of the bills it raised between July 2018 and May 2019 for the medicines it supplied to the company, as per the petition filed with the Mumbai Bench of the NCLT.
"However, as per the running account duly maintained by the operational creditor, an unpaid operational debt of Rs 1,54,84,319/- pertaining to the invoices raised by the operational creditor during the period from 30/07/2018 till 20/05/2019 towards the formulations supplied to the corporate debtor is still outstanding," Morepen said in its petition through its advocates Srijan Tiwari and Dewa Paljor.
The drugmaker added that despite "several repeated formal communications via mails and telephonic discussions, Wockhardt has not yet paid the overdue amount".
Morepen added that it had sent a legal notice to Wockhardt in June 2019 after which the company gave an "oral assurance" that it would clear the payment. But after Morepen withdrew its first legal notice, Wockhardt "again became reclusive and unresponsive and took no step towards fulfillment of its oral assurance". This egged the drugmaker to issue a second notice in August to Wockhardt.
However, it could not be ascertained from the petition as to how much Wockhardt owes Morepen including the interest amount.
According to Wockhardt's annual report, the pharmaceutical firm owes Rs 840.24 crore in trade payables to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and "others" towards the end of FY19 (2018-19).
Wockhardt had in August reported narrowing its consolidated net loss to Rs 44.98 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2019. The company had posted a net loss of Rs 86.18 crore in the same period a year ago.
Total income of the company stood at Rs 871.19 crore during the quarter under review, down 14.18 per cent, from Rs 1,015.14 crore reported in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal, Wockhardt had said in a BSE filing.
The company said, during the quarter, it repaid Rs 351 crore towards various long-term debt obligations.
Total long-term outstanding debts on June 30, 2019, stood at Rs 2,119 crore compared to Rs 2,723 crore as on June 30, 2018, the company added.