Mumbai: In intensification of boardroom feud in the Tata Group, patriarch Ratan Tata-led holding firm today sought removal of ousted Chairman Cyrus Mistry and his new- found supporter Nusli N Wadia from three prime listed entities, including Tata Motors and Tata Steel.
Mistry, who was ousted as Chairman of Tata Sons in a sudden surprise move last month, suffered another setback when a non-executive director of Tata Chemicals Ltd, Bhaskar Bhat, resigned disagreeing with the proceedings and demanded his resignation.
Even after being removed as Chairman of Tata Sons, Mistry continues to head the group’s several listed firms, including Tata Motors, Tata Power, Tata Steel and Tata Chemicals.
Tata Sons, who had yesterday removed his as chairman of the group’s shining star Tata Consultancy Services, sought convening of extraordinary general meeting of shareholders of Tata Motors, Tata Steel and Tata Chemicals to remove him as well as Wadia from their boards.
Wadia is reported to have rallied independent directors of Tata Chemicals to back Mistry as Chairman of the company.
The latest moves is seen as attempts by Ratan Tata, who was brought in as interim head after sudden removal of Mistry, to seize back control of India’s largest conglomerate.
Tata Sons is seeking to remove Mistry from other group units to help the promoters tighten grip over the USD 103 billion business empire.
Tata Chemicals non-executive director Bhaskar Bhat resigned over what he said were disagreements with other board members. In his resignation letter, Bhat said, “The contents as well as the spirit of the statement (of yesterday that expressed support of independent directors to Mistry) completely dilutes the views I expressed at the Board meeting especially regarding the threat the company faces on account of loss of confidence of the promoter Tata Sons in the Chairman of Tata Chemicals.”
Bhat is also managing director of Titan Co, a jewellery manufacturer backed by Tata Group.
Tata Sons had yesterday asked asked Indian Hotels Co Ltd, where it holds 28.01 per cent, to call shareholders meeting to consider removing Mistry as director of the company. Mistry is Chairman of IHCL.