Tata Sons Hints At Coup Attempt By Cyrus Mistry
Battle for control of the Tata Group continues unabated
The battle for control of the India’s Tata Group conglomerate continues unabated, with a series of developments on Thursday shifting focus firmly to the Group’s individual companies, where erstwhile Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry still remains chairman. In a scathing point by point statement, Tata Sons’ said that Mr Mistry had “betrayed” the trust of the board by seeking for, and trying to remain, in control of the individual companies even after being removed as chairman of the holding firm.
Just hours before releasing the ninepage statement, Tata Sons’ wrested control of the Group’s most lucrative firm -- Tata Consultancy Services -- by appointing Ishaat Hussain as chairman in the place of Mistry. In its letter, Tata Sons said that Mistry had, during his four year tenure at the helm, “cleverly ensured” that he would be the only Tata Sons representative on the Board of operating Tata companies, including IHCL, where independent directors had expressed their support for him last week. Tata Sons took a dim view of what they said was an attempt to take control of the firm. “In hindsight, the trust reposed… in Mr Mistry...has been betrayed by his desire to seek to control main operating companies,” said the statement, adding, “this strategy… seems to have been a clever strategy planned and systematically achieved over the last four years.” Following the statement, IHCL called for an Extraordinary General Meeting to remove Mistry from the board. However, yet another Tata firm, Tata Chemicals, filed a statement with the stock exchanges late Thursday evening stating the independent directors “unanimously” backed Mistry as its Chairman.
Ousted chairperson Cyrus Mistry (left) has been replaced by former chairperson at the Tata Sons board Ratan Tata.