The Tata group on Friday issued notices to three Tata group companies — Tata Steel, Tata Motors and Tata Chemicals — to remove Cyrus Mistry, who is the chairman of all the three companies, and Nusli Wadia, who switched sides from the Tatas to the Mistry camp, from the boards of these companies. Once Mistry is removed as a director, he will automatically cease to be the chairman of the boards of these companies.
Earlier in the day, Bhaskar Bhat, a nominee of the Tata group, resigned from the Tata Chemicals board saying that the firm is facing a threat on account of loss of confidence in chairman, Cyrus Mistry by the company’s promoter Tata Sons and the statement of Tata Chemicals “completely dilutes his views”.
In a notice to the stock exchanges, Tata Motors said it has received a notice from Tata Sons, the holding company of the group which has a 26.51 per cent stake for convening an extraordinary general meeting of the company for considering and passing resolutions for the removal of Cyrus P Mistry and Nusli N Wadia, directors of the company under Section 169 of the Companies Act. The board of Tata Motors will meet on Monday.
Tata Steel said it has been directed by its promoter, Tata Sons, which holds 29.75 per cent stake in Tata Steel, to convene an EGM to remove its 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. It said Tata Sons has told the company to place the resolutions “removal of Cyrus Mistry as Director of the company in terms of Section 169 of the Companies Act, 2013 and removal of Nusli N Wadia as Director of the company in terms of Section 169 of the Companies Act, 2013”.
Tata Chemicals has informed bourses that Tata Sons, the promoter and a shareholder holding 19.35 per cent of the paid-up equity share capital of the company, has asked to convene an EGM of the company for passing the resolutions for removal of Cyrus Mistry and Nusli Wadia as Directors of the company under Section 169 of the Companies Act, 2013. Wadia had supported Mistry in Thursday’s board meeting, taking on his old friend Ratan Tata who ousted Mistry in Tata Sons on October 24. Wadia had sided with Ratan Tata when he took on group satraps such as Russi Mody, Darbari Seth and Ajit Kerkar in the ’90s.
Meanwhile, sources said Bhat’s resignation could be aimed at putting pressure on Mistry to quit from various listed companies of the Tata group. “I just read the statement by the independent directors on the BSE site. The contents of the as well as the spirit of the statement completely dilutes the views I expressed in the board meeting today especially regarding the threat the company faces on account of loss of confidence of the promoter in the chairman of the company. Several important issues I expressed seem to have been completely ignored,” Bhat said.