The USD 111 billion Tata Group is not looking to monetise investments to raise capital and has enough cash to support group firms, its Chairman N Chandrasekaran said as he sought to scotch speculations about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the group’s business.
The Board of Tata Sons, the holding company of the salt-to-software conglomerate, met on Friday reportedly to evaluate and discuss strategies to allocate funds to group companies and prioritise sectors needing more liquidity.
Without mentioning the board meeting, Tata Sons issued a statement to “dispel the recent unfounded rumours” about the group.
“The Tata group companies, like all other companies, are facing both challenges and opportunities arising out of the pandemic and resulting economic situation, based on the industries and markets they operate in,” Chandrasekaran said in the statement.
“All our group companies are progressing well responding to these challenges and opportunities and we are confident that they will emerge stronger,” he added.
Terming reports on the impact of COVID-19 on the group as “malicious” and intending to undermine the performance of the Tata group and discredit the Chairman Emeritus Ratan N Tata, he said the group is well poised to capture new opportunities.
“We are focused on navigating the current situation and profitable growth,” he said. “Tata Sons is in a strong financial position with adequate cash flows to support the group companies and new growth initiatives. Tata Sons is not looking to monetise its investments to raise capital.” Companies across sectors have borne the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide lockdown imposed to curb its spread. Sectors most impacted include hospitality, auto, aviation and consumer goods. Tata Group is present in all of them.
Tata Steel and JLR have suffered the most. Its flagship Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) too has not remained untouched by the impact of the pandemic.
Since taking over as chairman of the group in February 2017, Chandrasekaran has increased synergies across group companies to best leverage the strength of the group.
It was speculated that the Tata Sons board may be presented with a strategy for growth in a post-COVID world by optimising costs. The statement did not say anything about the deliberations of the board.
The group’s top management has taken up to 20 per cent salary cut for the first time in the conglomerate’s history.