Refuting Cyrus Mistry's allegations of "breakdown" in the governance of trusts managing Tata Sons, the group holding firm on Monday said the latest letter by ousted chairman is “a rehashed version of his earlier statements, press reports and leakages.”
“Tata Sons strongly and categorically refutes the contents of Mr Mistry’s letter which are a rehashed version from his earlier statements, press reports and leakages which we have forcefully rebutted,” the company said in a statement, hours after Mistry’s letter to Tata Groups companies’ stakeholders surfaced in press.
Tata Sons said the trusts are governed by individual wills of Jamsetji Tata and his two sons, and accused Mistry of causing huge financial losses.
"The Trusts are governed by the individual Wills of Jamsetji Tata, his two sons, Sir Dorabji Tata and Sir Ratan Tata, and other founders. The Trusts have been scrupulously following the mandates set out in the Wills," Tata Sons said in a statement.
That is the reason the different Trusts continue in existence for decades, it added.
Various Tata Trusts of which Ratan Tata is lifetime chairman, owns 66 per cent in Tata Sons, and are all public trusts.
Tata Sons, the holding firm for over USD 100 billion conglomerate, said Mistry's statements have caused the group, including the companies where he continues to be the Chairman, "enormous damage and caused considerable financial loss to all shareholders, running into tens of thousands of crores".
Earlier, stepping up his fight against Tatas and patriarch Ratan Tata, Mistry sought government's intervention to "remedy and repair breakdown" in the governance of trusts managing Tata Sons.
Reaching out to shareholders of six Tata group firms, where promoters have called EGMs to remove him from their boards, Mistry said, "The Tata Group is no one's personal fiefdom: it does not belong to any individual, not to the trustees of Tata Trusts, not to the Tata Sons directors, and not to the directors of the operating companies.
Refuting the claim, Tata Sons said: "After he became the Chairman of Tata Sons, it is Mr. Mistry who converted the Group into his "personal fiefdom", with his unilateral actions destroying precious institutional memory of the House of Tata."
Mistry has chosen to fight his removal in the media even at the cost of hurting and damaging the Tata group, including Tata companies, even while remaining as its Chairman, Tata Sons said.
"His statements have caused the group (including the companies where he continues to be the Chairman) enormous damage and caused considerable financial loss to all shareholders, running into tens of thousands of crores," it added.
Tata companies and Tata Sons have, for many decades, worked cohesively and seamlessly for the benefit of allstakeholders namely the companies, their shareholders and employees and for society at large, it said.
"There was no other agenda or personal interest as ultimately even the dividends paid to Tata Sons and subsequently to its own shareholders went largely back to philanthropy except for those paid to the minority shareholders," it added.
The operating Tata companies have individually grown and prospered but they have also benefited in no small measure from being part of the Tata group, it said.
"It is the Tata legacy that has attracted capital in all forms and gives the comfort of safety because of the past default-free record. Therefore, Tata companies do not exist in a vacuum but benefit from being part of the Tata group which is most evident in times of difficulty. It is all this that is at stake," the statement said.
The Tata Group has enjoyed the confidence of generations of shareholders for more than a century. The shareholders of Tata Group companies are eminently qualified to see through the smokescreen of baseless allegations being passed off as an appeal to shareholders, it said.
"The price of his (Mistry's) wanton allegations has been borne by none other than millions of shareholders. Tata Sons believes the shareholders will judge these malicious actions on their own merit or the lack of it," it said.