Mergers Expert Nitin Khanna Sued In Oregon

Nitin Khanna is an Indian-born entrepreneur settled in Portland and is the chairman of MergerTech, an international mergers and acquisitions advisory firm. He is also the co-founder of Saber Corp., which is now acquired by EDS. 

Investors in “failed” Portland CBD startup Sentia Wellness sued Oregon entrepreneur Nitin Khanna and several of his associates this month, alleging they perpetrated a $60 million securities fraud by making false claims about their business and disguising the company’s financial situation. “Sentia’s founder and former executive chairman Nitin Khanna committed securities fraud and violated Oregon securities laws by using untrue statements and misleading omissions of material facts to solicit and induce the plaintiff investors to purchase over $74 million in debentures in Sentia,” the lawsuit alleges.

Khanna is a former CEO of Oregon-based Cura Partners, which Massachusetts-based Curaleaf acquired in 2020. That deal initially was valued at $948.8 million but was reversed. The investors claim in the suit, according to the report, that they made $74 million in unsecured loans to Khanna’s Sentia Wellness startup based on false claims about the company’s prospects.

Khanna’s attorney, Vivek Kothari, told the Business Journal that the claims in the lawsuit are baseless. Sentia was a spinoff of Cura Partners, according to the Business Journal, that struggled from the start. 

The lawsuit, filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court, lists seven investment funds as plaintiffs against Khanna. 

“Sentia ultimately failed because of changes in the regulatory environment and the impact of COVID on the retail environment,” Kothari said in a statement to the publication. “These are sophisticated investors who knew the high risks of investing in a new business.”