Tata Steel to focus on reducing debt, India expansion

Lines up ₹7,000 cr capex for this fiscal

Mumbai, August 8

Steel major Tata Steel expects reducing the consolidated debt from ₹83,014 crore and achieving sustainable European operations are going to be the key challenges.

Addressing shareholders at the annual general meeting for the first time on Tuesday, Chairman N Chandrasekaran said besides reducing debt and focus on Europe, the management is working on expansion in India and leverage on the ample talent pool within the company.

Tata Steel has lined up a capital expenditure of ₹7,000 crore for this fiscal, largely to ramp up production at newly commissioned plant at Kalinganagar.

Allaying shareholders concern on a BusinessLine report on conflict of interest over appointment of Deepak Kapoor former head of PwC India as an Independent Director of Tata Steel, Chandrasekaran said that Kapoor has retired and is no more associated with PwC.

Defending Corus buyout

However, Tata Steel will not induct him in the audit committee until he finishes the cooling period, he said.

The acquisition of Corus PLC by Tata Steel in 2007 was part of the long-term strategy to grow business through international acquisition, said Chandrasekaran denying all the allegations made by estranged former Chairman Cyrus Mistry.

The international growth strategy was to focus on accessing new markets, sourcing raw materials and Corus Group Plc provided a natural fit, he said.

Last November, Mistry said that some board members had reservation to Tata pushing for the Corus acquisition for over $12 billion, as it was available at half that price a year earlier.

Chandrasekaran said the Board was deeply involved in all the deliberations on Corus and had approved the acquisition on a consensus basis.

On the issue relating to the company’s communication with the promoters - Tata Sons, he said all such communications are value enhancing based on the strategic support provided by the Tata Group to the company.

"Our Audit Committee undertook a detailed review and has come to the conclusion that all of the company’s communications with Tata Sons were fully compliant with all applicable laws. It is now evident that such allegations were incorrect," he said.

Published on August 08, 2017


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