In intensification of boardroom feudin the Tata Group, patriarch Ratan Tata-led holding firm today sought removal of ousted Chairman Cyrus Mistry and his new- found supporter Nusli N Wadia from three prime listed entities, including Tata Motors and Tata Steel.
Mistry, who was ousted as Chairman of Tata Sons in a sudden surprise move last month, suffered another setback when a non-executive director of Tata Chemicals Ltd, Bhaskar Bhat, resigned disagreeing with the proceedings and demanded his resignation.
Even after being removed as Chairman of Tata Sons, Mistry continues to head the group’s several listed firms, including Tata Motors, Tata Power, Tata Steel and Tata Chemicals.
Tata Sons, who had yesterday removed his as chairman of the group’s shining star Tata Consultancy Services, sought convening of extraordinary general meeting of shareholders of Tata Motors, Tata Steel and Tata Chemicals to remove him as
well as Wadia from their boards.
Wadia is reported to have rallied independent directors of Tata Chemicals to back Mistry as Chairman of the company.
The latest moves is seen as attempts by Ratan Tata, who was brought in as interim head after sudden removal of Mistry, to seize back control of India’s largest conglomerate.
Tata Sons is seeking to remove Mistry from other group units to help the promoters tighten grip over the USD 103 billion business empire.
Tata Chemicals non-executive director Bhaskar Bhat resigned over what he said were disagreements with other board members. In his resignation letter, Bhat said, “The contents as well as the spirit of the statement (of yesterday that expressed support of independent directors to Mistry) completely dilutes the views I expressed at the Board meeting especially regarding the threat the company faces on account of loss of confidence of the promoter Tata Sons in the Chairman of Tata Chemicals.”
Bhat is also managing director of Titan Co, a jewellery manufacturer backed by Tata Group. Tata Sons had yesterday asked asked Indian Hotels Co Ltd, where it holds 28.01 per cent, to call shareholders meeting to consider removing Mistry as director of the company. Mistry is Chairman of IHCL.
Intensifying its efforts to remove Mistry from group firms, Tata Sons, which holds 26.51 per cent stake in Tata Motors, asked the owner of Jaguar Land Rover, to convene an extra-ordinary general meeting of the company to consider its resolution seeking removal of Mistry and Wadia.
“The company has received a requisition and a special notice dated November 10, 2016…from Tata Sons Ltd..for convening an extraordinary general meeting of the company for considering and passing resolutions for removal of Cyrus P Mistry and Nusli N Wadia, Directors of the Company under Section 169 of the said Act,” Tata Motors said in a BSE filing.
Similarly, Tata Steel also said it received a notice by Tats Sons to convene an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to remove the steel major’s Chairman Cyrus P Mistry and independent director Nusli N Wadia.
“The company received from Tata Sons Ltd (Promoter and the principal shareholder) the requisition… requesting the Board of Directors of Tata Steel to convene an EGM of the members of the company,” Tata Steel said in a regulatory filing.
Likewise, another group firm Tata Chemicals said it has received a notice to convene a meeting of shareholders to remove Mistry and independent director Wadia from the company’s board.