Rebutting allegations of Tata Sons of rise in expenses during his tenure as "misleading", ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry on Tuesday hits back, saying networth of the holding company has actually risen and pointed out high costs relating to office and corporate jets used by Ratan Tata and his PR set.
Mistry's office in a statement said one of the reasons for a rise in expenses under his tenure was because Tata Sons was bearing some costs on behalf of the Tata Trusts, its biggest shareholder. Impairments and writedowns were due to legacy issues, largely relating to Tata Teleservices Ltd, it said.
Mistry, the statement said, did not approach any of the Tata Group business with the intention of doing a "quickcleansing so that he could immediately demonstrate decent results going forward."
Stating that some of the other investments of Tata Sons were of "questionable nature", the statement referred to Rs400 crore investment in Nagarjuna refineries and a joint venture with Sasol Ltd for converting coal into liquid fuel.
Tata Sons, the holding company of the USD 103 billion Tata Group, had as one of the reasons for ousting Mistry citedexpenses (other than interests on debt) on staff rising fromRs 84 crore to Rs 180 crore during his four-year tenure. It also cited increase in other expenses from Rs 220 crore in 2012-13 to Rs 290 in 2015 (excluding exceptional expenses) and rise in impairment provisions from Rs 220 crore in 2012-13 Rs 2,400 crore in 2015-16 indicating inability tostem falling values and turned around the 'hot spots' referredto by Mistry.
"The Tata Sons full-page newspaper advertisement on November 11 vaguely accused that expenses and impairments increased at Tata Sons during Cyrus Mistry's Chairmanship.Insinuating the increase in expenses as a failure of Mr Mistryis another brazen attempt to mislead the public andshareholders," the statement said.?
It said "significant" costs were incurred for corporatejets used by Ratan Tata, Mistry's predecessor who was brought back after Mistry was abruptly dismissed.Among the explanations, Mistry says that Tata Sons was bearing entire office costs for Ratan Tata, the chairman emeritus, and a "significant amount" of this was for the use of corporate jets. Mistry said the replacement of controversial lobby is Nira Radia's Vaishnavi Communications with Arun Nanda's Rediffussion Edelman just prior to his taking over also resulted in a jump in costs from Rs 40 crore to Rs 60 crore.