Tata Motors, Tata Steel focus of Cyrus Mistry-Ratan Tata battle

tata-motors-tata-steelMumbai, (IANS) The battle over the control of Bombay House, the headquarters of the Tata group here, on Friday mainly involved two crown jewels of the $103-billion empire — Tata Motors and Tata Steel.

The first salvo was fired when stock markets were informed that Tata Motors and Tata Steel are in receipt of notices from Tata Sons, the holding company, seeking an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders for the removal of Mistry and Nusli wadia from the two boards.

In one notice, the voting right of Tata Sons in Tata Motors was mentioned as 26.51 per cent, but in the other, no figure was given for Tata Steel.

Wadia of Bombay Dyeing — on the boards of both Tata Motors and Tata Steel as independent director — is considered close to Mistry.

The counters of the two group companies were nervous. In the midst of extremely volatile trading, the shares of Tata Motors crashed Rs 26.75, or 5.01 per cent, at Rs 507.40, while that of Tata Steel fell Rs 10, or 2.29 per cent at Rs 426.85.

The Tata Steel results — which were declared after the closing bell — bore the signatures of Mistry as Chairman.

The company’s standalone net profit stood at Rs 249.56 crore for the quarter ended September 30, against Rs 575.43 crore for the previous quarter and a loss of Rs 288.48 crore in the corresponding second quarter of last year.

Earlier in the day, Tata Chemicals said Bhaskar Bhat, Non-executive and Non Independent Director, has resigned from the board of the company. Bhat later said his views were not considered by the independent directors while issuing a statement reposing faith in Mistry.

Bhat is Managing Director of Titan Company and had reported the second quarter results to the stakeholders on Nov 4. He is also on the board of several other Tata Group companies.

On Thursday, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) had also issued a special notice under Section 169 (read with Section 115) of the Companies Act, 2013, and made a requisition for an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders to consider Mistry’s removal as a director of TCS.

TCS replaced Mistry as its Chairman and appointed Ishaat Hussain as the new Chairman of the board of directors of the company with immediate effect.

Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group companies, removed Mistry, 48, as its Chairman last month and reinstated Ratan Tata in an interim capacity.

The holding arm for the group said Mistry had lost the confidence of the board due to several factors and that the trustees were increasingly concerned with the growing trust deficit.

Following this, on Thursday, Tata Sons the ousted Chairman should resign from all group companies and deplored the manner in which he sought the support of independent directors of Indian Hotels to continue as its Chairman.

“Mistry conveniently forgets that he was appointed as the Chairman of the Tata operating companies by virtue of and following his position as the Chairman of Tata Sons,” Tata Sons said in a nine-page statement issued on Thursday.

However, following Tata Sons’ statement, the independent directors of Tata Chemicals on Thursday had reposed their faith in Chairman Mistry, while taking up the second quarter results for the current financial year.

Medaram Jathara

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