Ratan Tata Sons to strip Cyrus Mistry of voting rights

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The Tata Sons board will meet on Thursday in Mumbai to consider taking away proxy powers of former chairman Cyrus Mistry linked to voting and attending shareholder meetings of group companies.
People close to the discussion said this was one of the items on the agenda and that the board will also discuss developments over past few weeks, since the ouster of Mistry on October 24.
People close to Tata Sons, however, said it is a routine board meet called to discuss operational matters and that Mistry cannot in any case vote on behalf of Tata Sons as he is no longer the chairman.
It is not clear whether Mistry will attend the meet. Ratan Tata is the interim chairman and the board members include Nitin Nohria, Vijay Singh, Farida Khambata, Venu Srinivasan, Ajay Piramal, Amit Chandra, N Chandrasekaran and Ralf Speth.
Mistry apparently enjoys powers that allow him to vote on behalf of Tata Sons in the shareholder meets of operating companies.
Tata Sons has issued notices for shareholder meets of Tata Consultancy Services, Indian Hotels, Tata Chemicals, Tata Motors and Tata Steel in the next few weeks to oust Mistry as chairman and director.
In case of Tata Chemicals, Tata Steel and Tata Motors, the notices also call for removal of Nusli Wadia as an independent director.A late night PTI report said the board of TCS will meet on Thursday morning at its headquarters in downtown Mumbai to consider the way ahead on the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of shareholders to remove Mistry from the board.
Mistry belongs to the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, which holds 18.4% stake in Tata Sons. Two-thirds of the group is owned by Tata Trusts, headed by Ratan Tata. Tata Sons did not respond to an email from ET till late Wednesday evening.
The Tata Group has been witnessing a power struggle since the ouster of Mistry as group chairman on October 24. Matters have become complicated with independent directors on the boards of some companies backing Mistry, forcing Tata Sons to call a shareholders meet for removal of Mistry as chairman and director of key companies.
Independent directors of Tata Motors, Indian Hotels and Tata Chemicals have backed Mistry, his strategy and that of the management while Tata Steel’s independent directors could not agree on a statement of support.
Tata Global Beverages replaced Mistry as chairman on Tuesday while Tata Sons ousted him as chairman of TCS by virtue of its majority holding.

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