Tata Motors shareholders to vote on Wadia & Mistry removal on Dec 22
Nuslia Wadia, independent director on the boards of Tata Steel, Tata Motors and Tata Chemicals, whom Tata Sons is pursuing to remove from each of the three boards, hit out at Ratan Tata on Wednesday calling all allegations levelled against him as baseless and part of a vendetta.
Pointing at the fact that he doesn’t serve the Tata Group and hence is not required to act in its interest, Wadia, in a note to the shareholders of Tata Motors, said his independent views and actions in order to discharge his duties as an independent director of the company are the reasons behind the promoter group seeking his ouster.
Highlighting the huge drain that Nano had become on the company’s resources, Wadia said its closure is an issue that’s been highlighted by not just him but also many others. “In addition, it (Nano) has created very negative image of the passenger vehicle business (PVB) of the company,” Wadia noted.
According to its FY16 Annual Report, the company had sold just 21,007 passenger vehicles during the year with a measly market share of 4.6%.
Wadia stressed that he had differences with Ratan Tata over continuation of Nano which has proved to be a serious drain on the financial resources of the company.
Wadia also questioned the various crossholdings in Tata Group companies, particularly at a time when the likes of Tata Motors are highly indebted, calling it a ploy by Tata Sons to indirectly keep voting rights with them. “The figures across all the listed companies holdings in Tata Sons is approximately 14% of its capital amounting to approximately R70,000 crore and is being maintained only to shore up the voting rights of the Tata Trusts,” Wadia observed.
In his hard hitting 13-page letter, Wadia also highlighted the fact that he was the only independent director of Tata Chemicals whose removal is being sought although all independent directors of the company had unanimously passed a resolution reaffirming that all decisions taken by the board and executed by the chairman were as per the directions of the board. Calling on shareholders of Tata Motors to vote with their conscience and for what is right for the institution of independent directors”.
Shareholders of Tata Motors are to vote on December 22 on whether or not to remove Wadia and Cyrus Mistry from the boards of the company.