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QBiz: Tata’s Welspun Deal, Amazon’s India Returns and More

Read The Quint’s compilation of top business stories in national dailies across the country.

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1. Cyrus Mistry Says Tata Sons, Trustees Were Briefed About Welspun Deal

The board of Tata Sons Ltd, including nominee directors of Tata Trusts, was kept fully informed about Tata Power Co. Ltd’s plan to buy some renewable energy assets from Welspun Energy Ltd, ousted chairman Cyrus Mistry said on Friday.

On Friday, CNBC-TV18 reported that one of the tipping points that forced Mistry’s ouster on Monday was his failure to keep Tata Sons’ board informed about the Welspun deal, citing people it didn’t identify.

Mistry said in a statement that on 31 May, a note on the deal was circulated among all board members of Tata Sons (including Ratan Tata, who is chairman emeritus), giving them details and asking if they wanted more information. It said that Vijay Singh, who was a nominee of the Tata Trusts, replied to this note and “expressed positive appreciation.”

(Source: Livemint)

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2. Being Needlessly Dragged into Tata Cap Controversy: Siva

NRI businessman C Sivasankaran, founder of Aircel and the Siva Group, has rubbished allegations made by Cyrus Mistry that Tata Capital was forced to extend loans which then suffered losses when they turned bad. He in turn held Mistry responsible for the mounting losses at Tata Teleservices.

“I do not understand why my name has been needlessly roped in,“ Sivasankaran told The Economic Times when queried on his reaction to a letter to the Tata Son's directors by the ousted chief.

A day after his removal, on 25 October, in a mail to the directors of Tata Sons, Mistry referred to the Tata Capital example as one of the several bad business decisions that he was forced to put up with during his 4-year tenure in the Tata top job.

3. Amazon Says India Investments Paying Off, But Drain on Global Margins

Amazon, which on Thursday reported quarterly profits that fell short of Wall Street expectations, indicated that its India investments are starting to show results despite being at an early stage and would impact international margins as it plans to go all-out to conquer the all-important internet market, amid a bruising battle with local rival Flipkart.

In a post-earning conference call with investors, Amazon.com chief financial officer (CFO) Brian T. Olsavsky said that the company was excited about its investments in India and the response it had received from customers and sellers.

(Source: Livemint)

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4. Once Again, Maggi Comes To Nestle’s Rescue

Nestle India saw its third quarter profit rise 117 percent due to the return of its popular instant noodles Maggi, which was banned during the same quarter last year.

The company's net profit in the July-September quarter grew to Rs 269.4 crore from Rs 124.2 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous year.

However, it must be noted that Nestle India was impacted by a lower base in the previous year as the popular instant noodles brand was banned by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India after some laboratories found the presence of lead and monosodium glutamate in some of its samples. The ban which was imposed in July 2015 was lifted in November, the same year.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

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5. Corporate Governance Standards Intact, Ratan Tata Assures LIC

Ratan Tata, the interim chairman of Tata Sons, has assured Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) that publicly traded group companies will uphold “proper governance standards” and decide independently about former chairman Cyrus Mistry’s continuation on their respective boards.

Tata also told LIC that corporate governance standards have not been compromised at Tata Sons or in any group company, people close to the discussions told ET. Mistry’s fate as board director on Tata Group companies will be decided by their individual boards, the investors were told.

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6. That Tata-Mistry Divorce Could Cost $16 Billion

This week's acrimonious separation between the chairman of Tata Group and its majority owners may now be heading for a divorce. Ratan Tata, who returned to head the conglomerate after ousting Cyrus Mistry, is looking for a partner to buy the ex-chairman's stake, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.

Should Mistry agree to sell, how much can he hope to get for his family's 18.4 percent of Tata Sons Ltd.?

Read the full story here.

(Source: BloombergQuint)

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7. DoCoMo CEO Says Indian Govt Needs to Act on Tata Dispute

NTT Docomo Inc., locked in a financial dispute with India’s largest conglomerate, said the South Asian country’s government will need to take action to resolve the disagreement.

The Japanese carrier has been fighting its joint venture partner Tata Sons Ltd over the right to sell its stake in their Indian wireless telecommunications business for at least 50% of the original investment. India’s central bank has signalled that such a payment would violate rules governing investments from outside the country.

“To solve this problem, we need the Indian government’s action,” said Kazuhiro Yoshizawa, Docomo chief executive officer, following a briefing held to discuss first-half earnings. “It’s important that we keep talking with Tata to reach some sort of basic agreement.”

(Source: Livemint)

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8. KPMG Drama: Global Heads Step into Steady Ship

Richard Rekhy’s leadership role at KPMG India was curtailed as the firm’s global bosses sought to right the ship following the recent departure of 20 partners and 300 others by handing over effective charge to deputy CEO Akhil Bansal.

More than a dozen KPMG executives confirmed the development in conversations with The Economic Times. “All heads of service lines will report directly to Bansal,” said a partner. “These changes were announced by a US partner who represented global headquarters in a video conference with senior Indian leaders after many rounds of consultations.”

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9. Amazon to Buy Publishing Business of Tata-Owned Westland

Online marketplace Amazon has agreed to acquire the remaining 74% stake in Westland, the publishing unit of the Tata group retail company Trent Ltd, indicating its interest in expanding its presence in India books market.

The terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

In February, Amazon bought a 26% stake in Westland for about Rs 9.5 crore. Trent had said at the time that Amazon had the option to acquire the remaining 74% stake later.

(Source: Livemint)

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