The bruising Ratan Tata versus Cyrus Mistry battle, which the former won convincingly in the Supreme Court last week, should be an occasion for the Tatas to show grace and magnanimity. And to amicably settle all pending issues with their largest minority shareholder.
Nothing can be gained by continuing the fracas with the Shapoorji-Pallonji Group which holds over 18 per cent stake in the Tata Sons, the holding company for all group companies. Ratan Tata can have the satisfaction of his name and reputation being vindicated after the apex court rejected all the charges and complaints levied against him by the sacked chairman of the Tata Sons.
However, regardless of the court verdict, if the impression still persists that both sides had made mistakes, and had shown a mean streak towards each other, it is for Ratan Tata now to play the elder statesman and facilitate the complete exit of the SP group by arranging to have it recover a fair return on their investment in the group companies in keeping with the current valuations.
Given that the minority shareholders now find themselves in a huge debt-trap, a fair valuation for their stake in the Tata companies is their due, nay right. Besides, it is unbecoming of anyone to try and exploit someone’s misery for sheer schadenfreude. Now that the country’s most respected corporate conglomerate has emerged unscathed from an ugly boardroom spat, it should be at pains to try and restore its image as a genuine upholder of decent values and business practices in all its dealings. Even with the former partners-turned-foes.