Former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry dies in road accident

Mr Cyrus Mistry's car hit a road divider at Palghar in Maharashtra on Sunday. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI - Cyrus Mistry, scion of one of India’s most illustrious business families who formerly headed the nation’s biggest business group, died in a road accident near Mumbai on Sunday.

Mr Mistry, 54, was travelling from Ahmedabad in Gujarat state when his car hit a road divider at Palghar in Maharashtra on Sunday, Indian news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) reported citing local police.

An unnamed police official cited by PTI said the accident happened on a bridge and two injured people have been shifted to hospital.

An external spokesman for the Mistry family’s Shapoorji Pallonji Group confirmed news of Mistry’s death. Two others were injured and have been shifted to hospital.

The news is the latest blow for the Mistry family whose patriarch, Pallonji Mistry – Cyrus’s father – died in June at the age of 93.

Their empire built luxury hotels, stadiums, palaces and factories across Asia, but was most recently known for a corporate feud with the Tata Group.

Pallonji Mistry had accumulated a net worth of almost US$29 billion at the time of his death, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, making him one of the richest men in India.

Most of the family wealth, however, derived from being the largest minority shareholder – 18.5 per cent as of early 2022 – in Mumbai-based Tata Sons Pvt., the main investment holding company for India’s largest conglomerate.

Cyrus Mistry was named chairman of Tata Sons in 2012.

His shock ouster in 2016 triggered a very public, years-long courtroom and boardroom battle between two of India’s most storied corporate clans, the Mistrys and Tatas.

The country’s top court ruled in 2021 that Mr Cyrus’s ouster was legal and also upheld Tata Sons’s rules on minority shareholder rights, which made it difficult to sell shares without board approval.

That meant the stake, worth almost US$30 billion in early 2022, was basically illiquid. 

Mr Mistry is survived by his wife Rohiqa and their two sons. BLOOMBERG

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