The Hindu Business Line
Tatas line up big guns in ‘war room’
Tasked with outlining strategy for upcoming EGMs of Tata Steel, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals
The Tata Group headed by Ratan Tata is lining up some big guns in a ‘war room’ at Bombay House, the Group’s headquarters, to formulate its strategy in its tussle with ousted Chairman Cyrus Mistry ahead of crucial extraordinary general meetings (EGMs) of three Group companies.
The EGMs of Tata Steel, Tata Motors and Tata Chemicals are scheduled for later this week; promoters Tata Sons and Tata Trusts are seeking shareholder approval to remove Mistry from the boards of the respective companies. Unlike Tata Consultancy Services, where the promoters commanded enough stake to ensure a walkover last week, they will need to garner public support in a close vote. Institutional investors may, however, vote in favour of the promoters, an analyst said.
Among the Tata loyalists whose services have been requisitioned are: Prasad Menon, who retired early this year as Chairman of Air Vistara, a joint venture with Singapore Airlines, and U Mahesh Rao, former Managing Director of General Insurance Corporation. Besides, advice is also being sought from FC Kohli and S Ramadorai, doyens of the Indian IT industry, and B Muthuraman, former Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Tata Steel, sources said.
Menon, who has handled many a crisis in Tata Chemicals and Tata Power, had recently moved to Hyderabad after a long stint with the Group. Just as he was settling in, he received a call from Ratan Tata asking him to help deal with the tussle with Mistry. “I have come to help Mr Tata in whatever way I can,” Menon told BusinessLine.
Asserting that Tata would do no wrong to anyone, Rao said: “I was very upset with what is happening and feel sad watching it on TV. I picked up the phone and spoke to Krishna Kumar. He told me to come immediately — and here I am to help them.” Also read p13