Tata Sons today denied strongly the speculation that its assets in Britain could be seized following the London arbitration award against the group in the Tata Tele-Docomo case last month.
The company also said that though it has time till August 2, it hopes to deposit the entire amount of USD 1.17 billion with the registrar of the Delhi High Court by tomorrow.
On June 23 this year, the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) had asked the Tatas to pay up USD 1.17 billion to Japanese partner Docomo.
Following this Docomo has obtained an exparte order from the commercial court in London to enforce the award in Britain. Because the order was obtained exparte, Tata’s arguments have not yet been heard, Tata Sons said in a statement this evening.
“We would like to clarify that the London commercial court has granted Tata Sons a period of 23 days, starting July 27, 2016, to apply to set aside the exparte order. The arbitral award cannot be enforced until the end of that period, or until any application made by Tata Sons has been finally decided upon.
“Further, the British assets of Tata Steel and Jaguar Land Rover are not owned by Tata Sons. These are subsidiaries of Indian public listed companies of which Tata Sons is a promoter with a minority shareholding of not more than 30-35 per cent,” the statement said.
The statement pointed out that these companies are not party to the arbitration proceedings, and therefore no award has been issued against them. Therefore, it follows that the award cannot be enforced against those companies.
The company further said it has made its position clear in statement on July 26 to the Delhi High Court.
“Tata Sons has from the outset underlined its commitment to honouring its contractual obligations to Docomo, and has taken every possible step keeping in mind the interests of all stakeholders and in accordance with the laws of the land,” it said.