Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Trust betrayed-

Today, the television channel, Headlines Today (belonging to the India Today group) had an expose on the Tata Group. In brief, land that belonged to Voltas, with a market value of Rs.250 crores was sold / transferred at Rs.25 cr to nominees of the Karunanidhi family (the family that rules the state of Tamil Nadu and is an important ally of the Congress ). According to the channel, this was the consideration paid to ensure that the Telecom portfolio was NOT given to Dayanidhi Maran.
In the same news capsule, there is mention of a shell co which links the Anil Ambani group, Swan Telecom, ETISALAT, ETASTAR and the DMK ruling family!
To all of those who have been saying that I am very negative and pessimistic, what more do you expect?
If Voltas has done it, Ratan Tata stands totally stripped of his high moral stance. That was supposed to be the last bastion of trust.
Now, let us turn to the important question. If the land deal is true, Voltas shareholders have been screwed. Voltas shares are held by institutional investors also. This is a fit case to sue the Board and recover the difference. The Board has gifted away the property of the shareholders.
This is also a lesson to those who invest based on ‘asset’ values in Indian companies. The benefits rarely come to the shareholders.
Even if the Tatas restore the property to Voltas (a high probability due to the political stench that is happening), the Board of Voltas has to go. They have no bloody business being there or on any other Board of any Company. In fact there is a fit argument for suing them for breach of trust. This shows that the Boards are dummies and the promoters can do what they want. Look at the names on the Board:

Name Designation
Ishaat Hussain
Chairman / Chair Person
Nasser Munjee
N N Tata
N D Khurody
Nani Javeri

Sanjay Johri
Managing Director
S N Menon
Ravi Kant
Jimmy S Bilimoria

How independent are any of the names above? Is any one of them fit to be trusted, if the land deal has been struck?
This is a fit case for SEBI, Co Law Board and shareholders to act upon.

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