Mistry making unsubstantiated claims, malicious allegations: Tata Sons

Mumbai, Oct 27 (IANS) Tata Sons on Thursday hit back at ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry saying his letter lambasting his predecessor Ratan Tata makes “unsubstantiated claims and malicious allegations”.

Dismissing allegations made by Mistry, the company also said that its board had repeatedly “raised queries and concerns on certain business issues” but “these were not being addressed”.

“It is a matter of deep regret that a communication marked confidential to Tata Sons board members has been made public in an unseemly and undignified manner. The correspondence makes unsubstantiated claims and malicious allegations, casting aspersions on the Tata group, the Tata Sons board and several Tata companies and some respected individuals,” a Tata Sons statement here said.

“These will be responded to in an appropriate manner,” it added.

Cyrus Mistry’s email on Tuesday to directors of Tata Sons, a day after they voted to remove him as Chairman, contains allegations of “aggressive accounting” and fraudulent payments, and warns of potential write downs of losses of $18 billion at five group companies.

“It will be beneath the dignity of Tata Sons to engage in a public spat with regard to the several unfounded allegations appearing in his leaked confidential statement,” the Tata Sons statement said.

“There is a multitude of records to show that the allegations made by Cyrus Mistry are unwarranted and these records will be duly disclosed before appropriate forums, if and when necessary, sufficiently justifying the decision made by responsible Boards of Directors.

“…allegations are not based on facts or the true state of affairs,” it said.

“The Directors of the Tata Sons board had repeatedly raised queries and concerns on certain business issues, and Trustees of the Tata Trusts were increasingly getting concerned with the growing trust deficit with Mistry, but these were not being addressed. The Tata Sons board, in its collective wisdom, took the decision to replace its Chairman in the manner undertaken,” the statement said.

The company also said that it was unfortunate that Mistry had overwhelmingly lost the confidence of the members of the board of directors for a combination of several factors, it said.

Countering Mistry’s allegation of becoming a “lame duck” chairman, Tata Sons said he, as the Executive Chairman, was “fully empowered to lead the group and its companies”.

“It is unfortunate that it is only on his removal that allegations and misrepresentation of facts are being made about business decisions that the former Chairman was party to for over a decade in different capacities. The record, as and when made public, will prove things to the contrary,” a spokesperson said.

Mistry had been on the Board of the Company since 2006 and was appointed Deputy Chairman in November 2011 and formally appointed Chairman of Tata Sons in December, 2012.

The interim Chairman Ratan Tata in his first interaction with senior leaders has stressed to them the need to continue focusing on building great businesses while emphasising on delivering strong shareholder returns.

Board members of Tata Sons have in the past stressed on the need to be more decisively focused on bringing down debt, sharpening focus on both the portfolio and capital efficiency.

–IANS

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