TCS shareholders to vote today: Tata, Mistry camps get battle-ready for EGMs :13-Dec-2016

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As the biggest corporate battle of the time enters a critical phase this week, lawyers, advisory firms and industry sources have examined the likely scenarios and outcomes that could unfold, starting December 13.

While the number-crunching goes in favour of the Tatas, there’s “tense anticipation” in that camp, ahead of the seven extraordinary general meetings (EGMs) lined up to oust former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry as director from the group firms, sources in the know said.

In that backdrop, the worst-case scenarios are being looked at closely, sources said. Legal teams are possibly advising the Tatas to consider all options, including calling of the EGM again in case they fail to pass the resolution in any of the group companies. Lawyers, on condition of anonymity, said that Tatas could also look at raising their shareholding in any group company before calling an EGM again, in case they fall short of votes in any of the meetings starting this week. A simple majority is required to pass a resolution at an EGM.

Ratan Tata, Cyrus Mistry, proxy advisory firms The Mistry camp is also believed to be in the midst of a similar scenario-building exercise, and lawyers are not ruling out last-minute surprises from there, including obtaining court injunctions seeking to stop the EGMs. There’s no confirmation of such a move from the Mistry camp, though.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tata Group’s crown jewel, will set the tone with its EGM slated for December 13, to seek the ouster of Mistry as a director. In fact, electronic voting for TCS EGM is already underway. Six more EGMs through December 26 will decide Mistry’s fate in other major group firms, including Indian Hotels, Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals and Tata Teleservices.

Tata Sons, which had, in a board meeting on October 24, removed Mistry as chairman and is now sponsoring the EGMs, is learnt to have consulted a battery of top lawyers, including Mohan Parasaran and Harish Salve and has done a series of roadshows with investors within the country and abroad, and is busy doing the last-minute appeals to shareholders to ensure nothing goes wrong. But, lawyers and advisory firms told Business Standard that
the Tatas are weighing all the possible outcomes at these EGMs, and how they could move from there.

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