Shapoorji Pallonji group to file settlement terms on Tata Sons exit with SC

Cyrus Mistry (Photo: Bloomberg/ Dhiraj Singh)
Shapoorji Pallonji (SP) Group is all set to file its settlement terms with the Supreme Court (SC) by Tuesday. This will ultimately see the exit of the cash-strapped Pallonji Group from Tata Sons.

With this, the hearing in the Tata versus Mistry case is likely to be adjourned to next month, said a source close to the development. “The settlement between Tata Group and SP Group is good news for both parties. The negotiations will now move towards the valuation of 18.4-per cent stake in Tata Sons,” clarified a source.

The Mistrys have pegged the valuation of their stake in Tata Sons at Rs 1.78 trillion, while Tata Group pegs the valuation far lower. “There is a possibility that the independent valuers for Tata Sons will be appointed with the SC’s consent,” said the source.

On October 10, Tata Group had said it had not received any formal request or proposal from SP Group on the settlement and said it would wait for court proceedings to resume on October 28. “With the deadline inching closer, SP Group will file its settlement plans, offering its terms for settlement,”  added the source.

The settlement is important for SP Group, which has been facing unprecedented cash crunch due to slowdown in construction and real estate. The group companies, which have started defaulting on loans, have filed for debt relief with their lenders, taking advantage of the Reserve Bank of India’s norms on one-time debt restructuring.

The group earlier failed to raise funds from Canadian financial giant Brookfield by pledging Tata Sons shares after the latter moved SC blocking the pledging of Tata Sons’ shares. Tata Sons moved court on September 5, a day after SP Group signed an agreement with Brookfield to raise Rs 3,750 crore as debt.

Later, SP Group informed the SC it would separate from Tata Group, ending its 70-year-old relationship with the conglomerate. SP Group said it would exit Tata Sons provided it got an early, fair, and equitable solution.

The Mistrys said a separation from Tata Group was necessary due to the potential impact this litigation could have on the livelihood of its employees and on the economy. “It was crucial that an early resolution be reached to arrive at a fair and equitable solution reflecting the value of the underlying tangible and intangible assets,” read the statement by SP Group.

As the largest minority shareholder, a role hitherto played by SP Group, it was always one of guardianship with the aim to protect the best interests of Tata Group. SP Group had always used its voting rights as a shareholder for the best interests of Tata Group, it had said.

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