Mumbai: Tata Group rejected a truce offer by billionaire Pallonji Mistry’s conglomerate that suggested swapping the Mistry family’s stake for shares worth $24 billion in the listed Tata companies.
“It’s nonsense. This kind of relief cannot be granted,” Tata’s lawyer Harish Salve said during a hearing before India’s Supreme Court on Thursday. “I’m opposing it,” he said, arguing on behalf of the largest Indian conglomerate.
The Mistry-led Shapoorji Pallonji Group had informed the court in October that it estimated its 18.4% stake in Tata Sons Pvt. — the group’s main holding company — to be worth more than 1.75 trillion rupees ($23.7 billion). It was seeking pro-rata shares in all listed Tata entities, cash, or any marketable instrument in lieu. Tata group earlier this week pegged this valuation at $11 billion, or less than half of Mistrys’ ask.
Salve said that accepting the Mistrys’ offer could cause the issue to spill over from Tata Sons, which controls the coffee-to-cars empire, to its listed firms where the SP Group would then be holding minority stakes.
Tata’s rejection of SP Group’s proposal threatens to stretch India’s biggest corporate battle in recent history. The Mistry family announced in September its intention to sever a 70-year relationship, capping four years of bitter feud that started with a boardroom coup in 2016 at Tata Sons and led to the abrupt ouster of Cyrus Mistry as Tata Group chairman. Cyrus is the son of billionaire Mistry, 91, who controls the 155-year-old SP Group. – Bloomberg
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