Bharat Bhisé is an investor and an international ‘dealmaker’. He has worked with many global brands over the years however many of them have either filed for bankruptcy or are running from authorities. Currently, he is the CEO and founder of Bravia Capital.
From HNA to Vijay Mallya, Bharat has had dealings with many disgraced businesses. However, when people think of Bharat, none of these names come to my mind.
Why? Because he has tried his best to make people forget about his shady associations.
That’s why the following review will take a deeper look at Bharat Bhisé and his involvement in different shady deals:
Multiple Lawsuits Bharat Bhisé Has Been Involved In
Bharat Bhisé has been involved in multiple major lawsuits over the last few years. His company, Bravia Capital, has filed and faced several lawsuits over contracts and botched deals.
One of the lawsuits included allegations of fraud and perjury. In Bravia Capital Partners Inc vs Fike, Bharat Bhisé’s company had received allegations for producing false documents, lying under oath and defrauding the court.
The lawsuit was filed in the District Court, Southern District of New York. While the court found many inconsistencies and grave mistakes in the testimonies of Bravia Capital Partners, it didn’t find any evidence of fraud.
Fike had asked the court to sanction Bravia in the form of:
- Dismissing their declaratory judgment complaint
- Enter a default judgment against Bravia on her counterclaims
- Set reasonable attorney’s fees
You should keep in mind that Bravia Capital is a major capital firm and has the purchasing power to employ the best of the best attorneys.
Nevertheless, the Court found that Bharat Bhisé had submitted a document with a forged signature. Hence, it decided to order him to show cause why the Court should not sanction him personally.
The case occurred in 2015 and apart from a few legal dockets, there isn’t much information available on the lawsuit. Notably, during the case, Bharat’s company had deleted several crucial documents and emails
Maybe this is another result of Bharat’s PR efforts, who knows?
Moreover, this is not the only lawsuit he has been involved in.
In 2020, Bravia Capital Partners Inc filed a lawsuit against Hong Kong Bohai Leasing Asset Management Corp Limited. They filed this case in U.S. District Courts, New York Southern District.
It is a case regarding contracts and related disputes. The case is still pending in the court.
Clearly, Bharat Bhisé has never been free from controversy. But that’s not all.
Prior to showing interest in politics, Bharat Bhisé was working in China. There, he was the part of a humongous scam. More on this in the next section of this review:
Bharat Bhisé and His Involvement in the Now-Defunct HNA:
HNA Group Co was a major Chinese conglomerate with multiple assets in China and overseas. There was a time when everyone was hailing this conglomerate as one of the fastest growing companies in the globe.
However, its assets were seized by the authorities in 2020 as the company was buried under humongous debt.
Chinese authorities detained the chairman of HNA Group Co in 2021 along with the CEO Tan Xiangdong for unspecified crimes.
The leadership of HNA had used the easy credit offered by the Chinese government during its boom to fund a myriad of overseas acquisitions. Some of their significant investments included buying stakes in Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG.
In 2017, HNA was ranked 170 among the world’s Fortune 500 companies. But in 2018, the company owed $93 billion to its creditors.
Now that most of its leadership is gone, very few people are talking about it. However, most people forget that Bharat Bhisé used to be a major stakeholder in this company:
The Bharat Bhisé HNA Connection:
During the rapid growth of the Chinese firm, Bharat Bhisé had acquired a 30% stake in the company. According to Bhise, he did it as a favor and received ‘no compensation’ for it.
This claim seems rather odd considering HNA was a Fortune 500 company and was among the largest in China.
As a major stakeholder, Bharat acted as a dealmaker for HNA Group Co in many Mergers & Acquisitions. He claimed that they were never his shares and he was merely “holding them in trust”.
Bharat had managed George Soros’ 1995 investment in Hainan Airlines 600221.SS, which was HNA’s flagship asset at the time.
Furthermore, he was a board member of 5 HNA-invested companies. These included Ingram Micro (a US electronics firm) and Avolon Holdings (an aircraft leasing company).
As the chairman of Bravia Capital, Bharat had co-invested with HNA in many of its overseas investments. These included Africa World Airlines, MyCargo Airlines and SeaCo, a marine container firm.
HNA and its Shady Ownership Structure:
The downfall of HNA started when Geo Wengui, a fugitive Chinese billionaire, alleged that officials in the CCP and their relatives were undisclosed shareholders in HNA.
Also, he alleged that HNA had allowed Chinese government officials and their relatives to use the company’s aircrafts for ‘purely personal reasons’.
This prompted many people and authorities to question the ownership structure of HNA. Moreover, it made many people realize how suspicious the entire structure was.
The “Indian dealmaker” started attracting a lot of attention when he transferred all of his 30% stake in the company to an unknown person named “Guan Jun”. According to media reports, Guan had ties to one of China’s most influential government officials.
Guan had purchased Bharat’s stake from him in 2017.
The China Human Rights Accountability Center called for investigation into this deal and shared several important details.
When asked how the deal took place, neither Bharat nor HNA disclosed any information. Both of them refrained from sharing any information regarding the transfer of the conglomerate’s ownership.
However, the pressure kept increasing and HNA had to release an open letter themselves. In their letter, they didn’t mention Guan. Instead, they claimed that Bharat’s stakes in the company had gone to a US-based charity.
Later, Bharat said that the senior management of the company is Buddhist and wants all the shares to go to charity at some point.
This meant that it was one of the most generous donations to a US foundation in the history of philanthropy.
Bharat Bhisé never explained how the ownership of his shares which were worth in billions went to the donor Guan Jun. Guan’s registered address is of a simple apartment where reports found a trash-laden building.
Similarly, Guan Jun’s business address was the address of a street-side spa in a residential neighborhood. Certainly, the details were false and both Bharat and HNA were hiding something.
Both Bharat and Guan’s shares were deemed shady and suspicious by international media. HNA claimed that Guan didn’t work for the company but media reports say that he served as co-chairman in a P2P lending platform of HNA.
Due to such dubious ownership, Bank of AMerica decided not to do any business dealings with HNA. However, after receiving all of these allegations, nothing came out of it. Bharat Bhisé roamed scot-free and has since moved onto other ventures.
Bharat Bhisé’s Dealings with Disgraced Businessman Vijay Mallya:
As you have seen, Bharat has been involved in one of the biggest corporate scams of the last few decades. Certainly, he didn’t want the notoriety of HNA to stick with his brand.
So, he started giving interviews to different news outlets and publications.
In one of those interviews, he shared how his career got started. Initially, he used to work in sales when he was in India and moved to the US to pursue his MBA.
After completing his MBA, he got a management job there but a few years later, returned to India.
This is where things get interesting.
When he came to India, he started working with the highly notorious Vijay Mallya. For those who don’t know, Vijay Mallya is facing charges of fraud. Embezzlement and money laundering in India.
VIjay Mallya owes $1.35 billion to Indian banks and fled to the UK after making his company bankrupt. Authorities allege that he has transferred $520 million to tax havens as well.
So, HNA wasn’t the first enterprise which worked with Bharat and turned out to be a corporate scam. He had already worked with Vijay Mallya to gain the necessary experience.
Bharat Bhisé – HNA, Vijay Mallya and Corruption
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