The war of words continues between Tata Sons and Cyrus Mistry. The former chairman of Tata Sons has issued a statement accusing the holding company of targetting independent directors of various Tata group companies, all of whom have backed him. Mistry in a two-page media statement names the nine independent directors, including two Tata Trusts trustees, Keki Dadiseth and Nasser Munjee, who are also independent directors in Indian Hotels Company Ltd. and Tata Chemicals Ltd., respectively. He highlights the fact that six out of the nine independent directors were appointed at least four years earlier, while Ratan Tata's was still Chairman of Tata Sons.
He also says that to suggest "ulterior objectives” and “clever strategy” can sway these eminent names in undertaking their fiduciary duties and in discharging the duties mandated by statute as independent directors is absolutely astonishing and really speaks to how low Tata Sons has unfortunately stooped in their public statements.
Mistry claims that having being a minority shareholder of Tata Sons, he had realised the need for a strong corporate governance framework within the Tata Group, and it had been his endeavour to build group values and share best practices within the organisation. Hinting at a possible conflict of interest within the group, before he took over as the Chairman of Tata Sons, he says there was a need to make Tata Trusts, Tata Sons and Tata operating companies compliant with the laws relating to insider trading by ensuring communication of unpublished price sensitive information strictly on a need to know basis.
Here is a full reproduction of Cyrus Mistry’s statement sent to media houses.
Tata Sons has also responded to Cyrus Mistry’s statement stating that it is crucially important for the boards of all Tata Group companies, including its independent directors to consider their views and positions to ensure that the interests of all stakeholders are protected.
Here is a full reproduction of Tata Sons’ statement sent to media houses.