Cyrus Mistry may challenge Chandrasekaran's appointment as Tata Sons chairman: Report

Cyrus Mistry, the ousted chairman of Tata Sons, has opposed the appointment of N Chandrasekharan and has dashed off a letter to the Tata Group board challenging the latter's appointment, a report in The Economic Times has said.

Mistry may even consider legal option, the report said citing officials in the know. In his letter to the board, Mistry has termed the appointment as 'illegal' as the matter was still sub-judice.

Mistry, who is still a director of Tata Sons, had not attend the meeting that appointed Chandrasekaran as its chairman, the ET report said.

Popularly known as 'Chandra', 54-year-old Chandrasekaran will take charge at the helm of $103-billion Tata Sons, the main holding company of the salt-to-software conglomerate from 21 February. He will be the first non-Parsi chairman of the 150-year old Tata Group.

Mistry has already filed a contempt application at NCLT against Tata Sons and its directors including Ratan Tata, alleging violation of the tribunal's order in initiating steps to remove him from the board on 24 October.

In the application filed at the National Company Law Tribunal, Cyrus Investments Ltd and Sterling Investment had sought an injunction against Tata Sons from "convening or holding of the EGM scheduled on February 6, 2017 or any other date or from transacting any business thereat".

Tata Sons has called a shareholders' meeting on 6 February to remove Mistry as director of the company.

Meanwhile, Tata Motors on Tuesday appointed Chandrasekaran as its chairman with immediate effect.

Cyrus Mistry, ousted chairman, Tata Sons. Reuters

Cyrus Mistry, ousted chairman, Tata Sons. Reuters

In a regulatory filing, the company said "the Board of Directors have today appointed Natarajan Chandrasekaran as additional director and Chairman of the board with immediate effect".

The appointment comes within a week of Tata Sons announcing Chandrasekaran as its Executive Chairman, capping two months of a bitter boardroom battle that followed the unceremonious sacking of Cyrus Mistry and letting of bad blood ever since.

At Tata Motors, he will have to take the responsibility of turning around the struggling homegrown auto major which is trying to regain lost ground, specially in the passenger vehicles segment.

Chandrasekaran will also have to pay special attention to the Nano. Mistry had alleged that Tata Motors has been unable to shut down the loss making small car due to "emotional reasons" and doing so would also stop the supply of "gliders" to an entity that makes electric cars in which Ratan Tata has a stake.

Mistry had alleged that the Nano product development called for a car below Rs 1 lakh but the cost was always above this.

"This product has consistently lost money, peaking at Rs 1,000 crore," Mistry said in his letter written to Tata Sons board members a day after he was ousted as the Chairman of India's largest conglomerate.

He further stated, "As there is no line of profitability for the Nano, any turnaround strategy for the company (Tata Motors) requires to shut it down. Emotional reasons alone have kept us away from this crucial decision."

Currently, Tata Motors is focusing on reviving its fortunes in the passenger vehicles segment with its compact hatchback Tiago receiving good response from the market.

The company will launch its premium SUV Hexa tomorrow.

With inputs from PTI


Updated Date: Jan 18, 2017 08:37 AM

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