Tata Sons, Ratan Tata knew about Welspun Power deal: Cyrus Mistry
Ousted Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry on Friday said the board of Tata Sons and representatives of Tata Trusts were informed of all the transactions that came for approval, rebutting charges that members of Tata Sons were kept in the dark on key business deals.
The two-page statement issued late evening by Mistry’s office attempted to counter Tata Sons’ response to charges in the email that Mistry sent on October 25, by explaining the flow of the approval process granted to the acquisition of Welspun Renewables by Tata Power in September.
“It is surprising that Mr Tata has sought to justify Monday’s conduct by making vague public statements that are contrary to his knowledge and contrary to the records of the Tata Group,” Mistry said in the statement.
Detailing the chronology of the discussions leading up to the eventual approval for acquisition of Welspun Renewables, Mistry said that at every stage, all members of Tata Sons were duly informed.
“In the early part of this year, Tata Power made a presentation to Tata Sons that a significant focus area would be the renewables sector. The Tata Sons board appreciated it. On May 31, a note was circulated to the board of Tata Sons and to Mr Ratan Tata providing information about the proposed Welspun transaction, and asking them if they needed any further information. The only board member to reply was Mr Vijay Singh, a nominee director of Tata Trusts on the Tata Sons board, and he expressed positive appreciation.”
The statement then mentions discussions that Ratan Tata, in his capacity as chairman emeritus and trustee, had with N A Soonawala, a trustee of Tata Trusts, along with merchant bankers to the transaction.
Tata Power had acquired Welspun Renewables for ?9,300 crore. It has been reported that interim chairman Ratan Tata had reservations about the transactions, although there has been no direct statement on the issue so far.
Mistry also said that Soonawala had views on how the listed operating company must structure its transaction.
Since shareholder nod was needed to arrange the funds for the transaction, the deal was discussed again at the Tata Sons board.
“On June 30, 2016, Anil Sardana, CEO of Tata Power, made a detailed presentation to the Tata Sons board. The discussion covered all aspects of the transaction including the structure and the Tata Sons board unanimously approved the transaction,” Mistry claimed in the statement.
“Therefore, to even suggest that the Tata Sons board including the nominee directors of the Tata Trusts had not been adequately informed is contrary to the factual record,” Mistry said.
Hitting out at Cyrus Mistry for making ‘unsubstantiated claims and malicious allegations’, Tata Sons on Thursday said the former chairman was fully empowered to lead the group and its companies but had “overwhelmingly” lost the confidence of board members.
(With inputs from PTI)
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