Tuesday 6 December 2016

Tata's investments in Ireland won't be hit by row, says family ally Casey

Dragons' Den star with ties to €100bn Indian firm says its commitment to projects here remains

Simon Rowe

Published 30/10/2016 | 02:30

Cyrus Mistry recently departed from the Tata board
Cyrus Mistry recently departed from the Tata board

Tata's investments in Ireland won't be affected by this week's boardroom upheaval at the €100bn Mumbai-based conglomerate.

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Peter Casey, the star of RTE's Dragons' Den and founder of recruitment firm Claddagh Resources, has helped secure significant Tata investment in Ireland in recent years. He said the company's decision to oust Irish passport holder Cyrus Mistry as chairman would have "zero impact" on the corporate giant's financial commitment in Ireland.

Casey played a central role in forging a partnership between Tata Consultancy Services and the Royal College of Physicians to launch an online education programme in July. The global initiative will enable the postgraduate medical training college to create an online community to help doctors share expertise, access online courses and collaborate.

"Tata's commitment to building and growing its business in Ireland, especially with Tata Consultancy Services' recent link-up with the Royal College of Surgeons will not be affected at all," said the Atlanta-based businessman.

Casey declined to comment further on the boardroom blow-up as it is understood he remains close to Ratan Tata, who returned to head the conglomerate after ousting Cyrus Mistry last week. Casey wrote a top-selling book about the firm - Tata: The World's Greatest Company - after being granted privileged access to the secretive family business empire. He is returning to India next week to meet with Rajan Tata, to work on a second book about the company.

Tata's financial links to Ireland extend to sport too. Cricket Ireland receives €250,000 a year as part of a 10-year sponsorship and naming rights deal for its cricket academy with Indian conglomerate Shapoorji Pallonji Group, owned by Ireland's wealthiest family, the Mistrys, who are the parents of Cyrus Mistry. They are all Irish passport holders. Mistry and his family own an 18.2pc stake in the €100bn global conglomerate Tata Sons. Cyrus Mistry is the youngest son of Pallonji Mistry, an Indian construction tycoon who married Patsy Perin Dubash, who was born in Dublin's Hatch Street Nursery in 1939.

Last Monday, in a move unprecedented for the nearly 150-year old business conglomerate, Tata Sons said that its board has decided to replace Mistry as the chairman of Tata Sons.

Ratan Tata, the man whose shoes Mistry has tried to fill over the last four years, will be the interim chairman of Tata Sons. In a leaked letter to the board, ousted Tata Group chairman Mistry warned that the corporate giant could face $18bn (€16.3bn) in writedowns because of five unprofitable businesses he inherited.

Mistry also suggests that there may be deeper corporate governance problems facing the firm.

Sunday Indo Business

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