July 28, 2016
Statement from Tata Sons
There are some speculative media reports suggesting the possibility of Tata company assets in the United Kingdom (UK) being seized as an outcome of an arbitration award by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), in the ongoing Tata Docomo case. Docomo have obtained an exparte order from the Commercial Court in London for permission to enforce the award in the UK. Because the order was obtained exparte Tata’s arguments have not yet been heard.
We would like to clarify that the London Commercial court has granted Tata Sons a period of 23 days, starting July 27th, 2016, to apply to set aside the exparte order. The arbitral award cannot be enforced until the end of that period, or until any application made by Tata Sons has been finally decided upon. Further, the UK assets of Tata Steel and Jaguar Land Rover are not owned by Tata Sons. These are subsidiaries of Indian public listed companies of which Tata Sons is a promoter with a minority shareholding of not more than 30% to 35%. These companies are not party to the arbitration proceedings, and no award has been issued against them. It follows that the award cannot be enforced against those companies.
We have made our position clear in our statement on July 26th, 2016: “Tata Sons has from the outset underlined its commitment to honouring its contractual obligations to Docomo, and has taken every possible step keeping in mind the interests of all stakeholders and in accordance with Indian law.
The regulatory approval for performance of the arbitral award of the London Court of International Arbitration has been denied by the Reserve Bank of India. However, in the Delhi High Court, Tata Sons, as a gesture of good faith and without prejudice to its rights, has in line with its earlier offer to Docomo, committed to deposit the entire amount of the arbitral award by Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016, with the Delhi High Court Registrar (Tata Sons expects to deposit the money by tomorrow, i.e. July 29, 2016).
Clearly, fulfilment of the arbitral award requires conformance to Indian regulations and law, and Tata Sons is committed to full compliance with all such requirements. The Honourable High Court in Delhi has given time till August 30th, 2016, for both parties to try and resolve the outstanding issues between them.”
We have no further comments to make at this stage.