Cyrus Mistry’s Sudden Death Puts Spotlight on SP Group’s Holding in Tata Sons
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – Cyrus Mistry’s tragic death in a car accident on September 4 has put the spotlight again on Shapoorji Pallonji’s group’s substantial 18.4 percent holding in Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata group as the SP group had talked about separation in the past after a troubled relationship with Ratan Tata.
There were media reports in March this year that SP group was taking a Rs 15,000 crore loan against the holding in Tata Sons.
SP Group had talked about separation two years back in September 2020 before the Supreme Court.
The largest shareholder in the Tata Group, SP Group had said before the Supreme Court Tuesday that a separation from the Tatas is necessary.
The SP Group stated before the Supreme Court that a separation from the Tata Group is necessary due to the potential impact this continuing litigation could have on livelihoods and the economy.
They stated that it was crucial that an early resolution is reached to arrive at a fair and equitable solution reflecting the value of the underlying tangible and intangible assets.
The current situation has forced the Mistry family to sit back and reflect on the past, present, and possible future for all stakeholders, SP group had said.
“The past oppressive actions and the latest vindictive move by Tata Sons that impact the livelihoods of the wider SP Group community leads to the inexplicable conclusion that the mutual co-existence of both groups at Tata Sons would be infeasible. The SP-Tata relationship spanning over 70 years, was forged on mutual trust, good faith, and friendship. Today, it is with a heavy heart that the Mistry family believes that a separation of interests would best serve all stakeholder groups,” the group said in a statement.
As the largest minority shareholder owning an 18.37 percent stake, the role hitherto played by the SP Group was always one of guardianship with an aim to protect the best interests of the Tata group.
The SP Group had always used its voting rights as a shareholder for the best interest of the Tata Group, SP group had said.
SP Group said it is a matter of record that prior to the year 2000, when the Tata Trusts, being Public Charitable Trusts, couldn’t exercise their voting rights, the same being held by a Public Trustee, the SP Group voted to protect the best interests of the Tata Group.
SP Group said in 2012, when Cyrus Mistry accepted the position of Chairman of Tata Sons, it was not only with a sense of pride but also with a sense of duty as an ‘insider’ on the Board of Tata Sons.
Mistry, who was 54, was ousted as Tata chairman in 2016, following criticism of his performance.
He was replaced by Ratan Tata — the man whom Mistry had himself replaced just four years earlier.
The boardroom coup was shrouded in mystery and sparked a long-running legal battle in which India’s top court eventually ruled in Tata’s favor, the BBC reported.