As the bitter boardroom battle in the Indian salt-to-software conglomerate continues, the Tata Group today found a mention in the UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s first address to Indian businesses.
Addressing the inaugural session of the India-UK Tech Summit organised by the CII, May said that over 800 Indian businesses have presence in the UK, with “Jaguar Land Rover’s owner, Tata, our largest manufacturing employer.”
The mention of the Tata Group by the UK PM during her visit to India — marking her first bilateral visit outside Europe and her first ever trade mission — comes amid the on-going boardroom battle at the Tata Group, whose UK businesses include IT, automobiles and steel among others.
May is in India on a two-day visit in New Delhi.
Earlier this year in January, JLR became the UK’s largest car maker eight years after it was acquired by Tata Motors for USD 2.3 billion from Ford.
Last month, in a sudden and dramatic turn of events, Cyrus Mistry was unceremoniously removed as the Chairman of Tata Sons and replaced by his predecessor Ratan Tata in the interim, triggering a confrontation between the single-largest shareholder and the company’s founding family.
In the high-decibel corporate drama that followed, Mistry accused Tata Sons of cornering him into being a “lame-duck” chairman in the near four-year tenure, and also hiding USD 18 billion of potential write-downs across five group firms, including Tata Motors and Tata Steel Europe.
He also alleged that there were potential financial issues at the various companies and violations of securities regulations.
Hitting back, Tata Sons said its former chairman was fully empowered to lead the group and its companies but had “overwhelmingly” lost the confidence of board members.
Ratan Tata had also lashed out at him saying Mistry’s removal was ‘absolute necessary’ for group’s future success.