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Cyrus Mistry says Tata Sons, trustees were briefed about Welspun deal

Livemint logo Livemint 29-10-2016 Staff Writer

Cyrus Mistry says Tata Sons, trustees were briefed about Welspun deal: A file photo of Cyrus Mistry. Photo: Reuters© LiveMint A file photo of Cyrus Mistry. Photo: Reuters

The board of Tata Sons Ltd, including nominee directors of Tata Trusts, was kept fully informed about Tata Power Co. Ltd’s plan to buy some renewable energy assets from Welspun Energy Ltd, ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry said on Friday.

On Friday, CNBC-TV18 reported that one of the tipping points that forced Mistry’s ouster on Monday was his failure to keep Tata Sons’ board informed about the Welspun deal, citing people it didn’t identify.

Mistry said in a statement that on 31 May, a note on the deal was circulated among all board members of Tata Sons (including Ratan Tata, who is chairman emeritus), giving them details and asking if they wanted more information. It said that Vijay Singh, who was a nominee of the Tata Trusts, replied to this note and “expressed positive appreciation.”

Full coverage: Tata-Mistry saga

“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,” said Mistry, citing the news report which said ‘Tata Sources said that the trustees of Tata Trusts were not kept informed about the transaction.’

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The Tata Power-Welspun deal was executed on 12 June following which Ratan Tata and N.A. Soonawala, another trustee, were briefed and their views sought, the letter said. It went on to add that since funding for the deal required shareholders’s approval, the transaction was again discussed with the Tata Sons board, with the CEO of Tata Power making a presentation on 30 June.

“The Tata Sons board unanimously approved the transaction. The minutes record that Mr.Nitin Nohria and Mr. Vijay Singh “after discussing the proposal with Mr. Tata and Mr. Soonawala”, while reiterating their view that the proposal should have come to the trustees earlier, approved the transaction,” said the statement.

In September, Tata Power completed the acquisition from Wellspun, paying Rs9,300 crore.

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