Tata stocks plunge on concerns over Mistry letter

Posted October 27, 2016

The flagship Tata stocks, however, nursed heavier losses once the contents of the letter came out in the public domain.

Tata Motors has been unable to shut down the loss making small vehicle Nano 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, Tata Sons' ousted Chairman Cyrus Mistry has alleged.

"It will be beneath the dignity of Tata Sons to engage in a public spat with regard to the several unfounded allegations appearing in his leaked confidential statement..." Mr Mistry says he "is shocked beyond words" at the manner in which he was removed, a process that he described as illegal.

Mr Mistry said there was no sign of profitability on the Tata Nano project - which had been launched as the world's cheapest auto - and criticised a failure to face up to the reality of its consistently losing money. The UK and Kenya operations of Tata Chemicals "needs tough decisions", he said.

Ratan Tata was an acquirer in his time at the top: he oversaw deals like the $12 billion acquisition of Corus, formerly British Steel, in 2007 and the purchase of Jaguar Land Rover a year later. "I have often presented to the trustees, before and after Tata Sons board meetings". It is unforgivable that Mr. Mistry has attempted to besmirch the image of the Group in the eyes of the employees. "It is unforgivable that Mr. Mistry has attempted to besmirch the image of the Group in the eyes of the employees", Tata Sons said.

Sebi was also looking into the alleged disclosure made in a purported letter written by Mistry to the board members of Tata Sons, including matters of financial and other irregularities as well as lapses on the corporate governance front, sources said. The board sought clarification from numerous companies listed with India's largest conglomerate, Tata Sons, on Wednesday. Analysts also point out that Tata group companies were chalking out good gains in the market over the last few years but the recent imbroglio may see investors seeking more clarity on the group's strategy in the coming months.

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Mistry's family firm Shapoorji Pallonji Group has 18.4 per cent in Tata Sons - the holding firm of the group companies.

"Given that Mundra constitutes Rs 18,000 crore of the capital employed (40 per cent of the overall company's capital employed) this substantially depresses the return on capital for Tata Power as well as carries the risk of considerable future impairments", he said in the letter.

On the power business, he said Tata Power aggressively bid for the Mundra project based on low-cost Indonesian coal and a change in rules now pose a threat to future capital impairment.

"It is unfortunate that it is only on his removal that allegations and misrepresentation of facts are being made", it added.

Indian Hotels also sent a letter to the exchanges saying the company's financial statements present a true and fair view of its operations.

"I assumed the role of the interim Chairman for stability and continuity so that there is no vacuum".