Updates On The Ratan Tata, Cyrus Mistry Face-off

Even as the face-off between the ousted Cyrus Mistry and the Tata Group continues, investors have lost over USD 12 billion (Rs.80,400 Crores) since 24th October, 2016, when Ratan Tata reclaimed control as the Interim Chairman of the Tata Group. The following are the latest updates:

Tata Sons Seeks Nusli Wadia’s Ouster For Supporting Cyrus Mistry:
The Ratan Tata-Cyrus Mistry boardroom battle took a new turn after Tata Sons pushed for an EGM to oust Nusli Wadia heading Tata Chemicals (also, Chairman of Bombay Dyeing and Britannia Industries). According to an ET Now report, Tata Sons has alleged that Wadia, the godson of JRD Tata and considered a close friend of Ratan Tata, was working in tandem with Mistry. Wadia came out on the other side on Thursday when he led the independent directors of Tata Chemicals in unanimously supporting Mistry’s chairmanship of the prominent Tata Group company — the second such endorsement that Mistry has received in a week, after Indian Hotels Company.

Tata Sons Nominates Ishaat Hussain As Interim Chairman Of TCS:
The Tatas removed Cyrus Mistry as Chairman of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and have sought a special meeting of the Board of Indian Hotels to remove Mistry as Director. TCS, India’s biggest software services exporter, said it received a letter from majority owner Tata Sons nominating Ishaat Hussain as interim chairman of the company in place of Mistry. Ishaat Hussain, a close aide of Ratan Tata and director of several Tata companies, including Tata Steel and air conditioning and engineering arm Voltas Ltd, currently serves as chairman of Voltas and satellite television provider Tata Sky. Tata Sons has also called for an EGM of shareholders to consider a resolution for removal of Mistry as TCS Director.

Sexual Harassment Case By IHCL:
The stand-off got uglier as details of a sexual harassment-related case, which were abuzz on social media, were made public through various media reports on the 11th of November, 2016. As reported by The Economic Times, the handling of a sexual harassment complaint, against Indian Hotels Company chief Rakesh Sarna, could have also led to the abrupt removal of Mistry. According to the report, the woman who alleged sexual harassment by Sarna had written to Mistry on 3 November, 2015 revealing her decision to move out of the group due to the difficult situation. The issue reached Ratan Tata by June 2016, who discussed the issue with Mistry and disapproved how Mistry had handled the complaint against Sarna. In July 2016, an investigation committee was formed. The panel is yet to submit a report.

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