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Former Tata chairman says he will not seek chairmanship of Tata Sons

MUMBAI (Reuters) – The former chairman of Tata Sons Cyrus Mistry said on Sunday he would not seek to reclaim his board seats and position as executive chairman of the salt-to-software conglomerate after a company’s tribunal in December ordered he be reinstated.

“I will not be pursuing the executive chairmanship of Tata Sons, or directorship of TCS (Tata Consultancy Services), Tata Teleservices or Tata Industries,” he said in a statement.

Mistry was sacked in 2016 from the top job at the helm of the holding company after he fell out with group patriarch Ratan Tata over corporate governance issues at Tata group companies.

Since then he has been embroiled in a legal battle claiming minority shareholder oppression and mismanagement. Mistry’s family owns a sizable minority stake in Tata Sons, the group’s parent entity.

Mistry said his company, the diversified Shapoorji Pallonji group, would seek to appoint a member on the board of Tata Sons.

“I will however vigorously pursue all options to protect our rights as a minority shareholder, including that of resuming the 30-year history of a seat at the Board of Tata Sons,” he said.

The December order by National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) called the appointment of N Chandrasekaran, after Mistry’s removal, illegal and also asked Ratan Tata not to interfere with matters of the company.

Tata Sons appealed the NCLAT ruling in the Supreme Court this week. A handful of Tata group companies, including its crown jewel Tata Consultancy Services Ltd <TCS.NS>, have also appealed the decision.

“As an 18.37% shareholder, it is in our own interest to ensure the group’s long-term success,” Mistry said.

Tata Trusts, a group of public charities, owns a controlling 66% stake in holding company Tata Sons, and is chaired by Ratan Tata.

(Reporting by Promit Mukherjee; editing by David Evans)