Jaguar Owner’s Investors Vote to Oust Independent Director WadiaBy
Ratan Tata attended the meeting while Wadia stayed away
Conflict erupted in October after Tata Sons leadership change
Shareholders of Tata Motors Ltd. voted to oust independent director Nusli Wadia from the automaker’s board, bringing the owner of Jaguar Land Rover closer to parent Tata Sons Ltd., the holding company of India’s largest conglomerate.
About 71 percent of the investors who voted agreed to remove Wadia at a special shareholder meeting in Mumbai on Thursday, according to a company statement. Ratan Tata, the patriarch of the family that founded the Tata Group, has been re-asserting control and sat in the front row as a statement from Wadia was read to investors.
Winning the backing of shareholders at the automaker is a boost for Tata Sons in the tussle for control across boardrooms of the conglomerate as Tata Motors is the second biggest profit generator for the group. The conflict was triggered by the ouster of Cyrus Mistry as chairman of Tata Sons in October and Wadia has been a prominent supporter of the executive since.
Tata Sons director Ishaat Hussain said Thursday that principal shareholders had lost confidence in Wadia, who wasn’t present at the meeting. Numerous investors then had an opportunity to speak with many voicing support for Ratan Tata while a few questioned Mistry’s removal.
Wadia was voted off the board of Tata Steel Ltd. on Wednesday. Tata Chemicals Ltd. will consider Wadia’s position on its board on Friday. Mistry himself resigned as director of Tata group companies on the eve of the shareholder meetings to remove him and filed a case with the National Company Law Tribunal.