Former chairman of the Tata Group, Cyrus Mistry on Wednesday hailed the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) order as the victory of good governance and minority shareholders’ rights.
The 51-year-old Mistry, who was ousted unceremoniously from Bombay House, fought the battle with the Tata Group on his own.
He always said that he wants the family’s honour to be restored.
The Mistry family owns 18.5 per cent stake in Tata Sons while Tata Trusts and Tata Group companies own the remaining shares in Tata Sons.
In a statement after the NCLAT order, Mistry said the judgment is not a personal victory for him, but is a victory for the principles of good governance and minority shareholder rights. “For over 50 years, the Mistry family, as the significant minority shareholder of Tata Sons, has always endeavoured to play the role of a responsible guardian of an institution that the entire nation is proud of,” he said.
“The outcome of the appeal is a vindication of my stand taken when the then board of Tata Sons, without warning or reason, removed me, first as executive chairman, and subsequently as a director of Tata Sons,” he said.
On October 24, 2016, Mistry’s team A was also disbanded with all the members of group’s executive council being given marching orders by the group’s officials. “My endeavour as executive chairman had always been to establish a culture and processes that promote effective board governance to create long-term stakeholder value, sustainable profits and growth,” he added.
For the Tata Group to prosper as an institution, it is important that the management of individual companies, their boards, the management of Tata Sons and the shareholders of Tata Sons all work harmoniously within a robust governance framework.
This should, in substance and form, protect the rights of all stakeholders, including shareholders, investors and Tata Group employees, who represent the strongest asset of the group. “I believe it is now time that all of us work together for sustainable growth and development of the Tata Group, an institution that we all cherish,” he added.
Since his removal from Tata Sons’ board, Mistry used his time to invest in start-ups with a new investment vehicle called Mistry Ventures LLP.
Cyrus’s brother Shapoor, who was on the board of Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), a Tata Group company, also quit the IHCL board and was busy looking after the day-to-day operations of the billionaire family’s construction business.
It was then left to Cyrus, who became the chairman of the Tata Group after a global search in 2012, to keep the legal fight going.
While the National Company Law Tribunal's (NCLT's) Mumbai’s order in July 2018, which rejected Mistry’s petition, came as a big setback for the family, Mistry immediately took the battle to the NCLAT.
The Mistry family, however, will have a long wait as the Tatas plan to take the battle to the Supreme Court by January next year once the apex court opens after vacation.