Tata Group’s Chairman N Chandrasekaran on Monday said Indian Hotels Corporation Ltd. took “appropriate financial decisions” by selling certain assets post financial crisis while retaining iconic properties like The Pierre hotel in New York.
The comments, made by Chandrasekaran at IHCL's 116th annual general meeting, came on a day when his predecessor Cyrus Mistry alleged that IHCL faced a “near-death experience” due to some acquisitions and had to take write-downs near equal to its entire net worth.
Mistry also refuted Chandrasekaran’s comments in IHCL’s annual report that the acquisitions made by the company were “with the aim of promoting the ‘Taj’ brand and to expand the business and operations of the company”.
At the AGM, Chandrasekaran told shareholders that during the second half of the last fiscal year, certain issues relating to past decisions of the company with regard to acquisition and sale of foreign properties, including Orient Express, Taj Boston and The Pierre, were raised.
N Chandrasekaran, Chairman, Tata Group Prior to the financial crisis, the company had an established international expansion strategy and many decisions were taken by the board to establish marque properties in key geographies.
“Post the financial crisis, and the resulting adverse impact on the hospitality sector, the board took appropriate financial decisions and decided to exit some of these ventures while retaining iconic properties like The Pierre,” he added.
He said that the board was deeply involved in all the deliberations regarding all acquisition and sale of various holdings and assets over time and had approved each of these initiatives.
Chandrasekaran assured shareholders that the board of directors have always acted in the best interest of the company and will continue to do so in the future.
“I would like to further add that in the lifetime of an institution as revered as IHCL, many decisions are made. All the decisions are made with the best of intentions and very much remain subject to global and local events and economic undercurrents,” the IHCL chairman added.
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