Mumbai– Ahead of December 21 extraordinary general meeting for his removal as independent director of Tata Steel, Nusli Wadia on Monday said allegations that he was acted in concert with ousted Tata Sons chairman Cyrus P. Mistry, were false and baseless.
“This is totally false and baseless. My actions as an independent director are totally independent and not linked to any individual,” he said.
He also said the allegation that he was acting against the interests of the Tata Group was baseless and unsubstantiated.
“I do not serve the Tata Group in any capacity and am not required to act in their interest. The statement is irrelevant to my position as an independent director of Tata Steel. It is also baseless and unsubstantiated,” said Wadia’s presentation, adding the statement that he was conducting himself to cause harm to the Tata group was “baseless and defamatory and not worthy of a response”.
In a letter to shareholders of the company, Wadia said: “I have served your company (Tata Steel) independently for 37 years – longer than any other living director including Ratan Tata and I now stand accused of having lost my independence over events that transpired in less than 17 days.”
Further, Wadia said he, as an independent director, expressed his views and differed with several proposals during the time of Ratan Tata’s Chairmanship.
“I differed strongly with the acquisition of Corus for sound reason. However, a decision was ultimately taken by consensus. I was strongly of the view that Tata Steel should concentrate on the rapidly growing Indian market and develop its new greenfield steel plant where the margins and returns would be far superior,” he said adding that his strategic view was that the Tata Steel would become No.1 steel company of India.
Unfortunately, that is not the case today, Wadia added.
He also said any return on investment to the shareholders of company from its investment in Tata Steel Europe looks a near impossibility.
“The shareholders of Tata Steel have already suffered a serious impairment of close to Rs 35,000 crore and are likely to have further substantial impairments in the future. The capital employed now on account of Tata Steel Europe is in the region of Rs 75,000 crore,” he added.