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Tatas to continue drive on acquisition path for growth

NEW DELHI: The Tata group will continue to take the acquisition route as one of the modes of growth for the over $100 billion conglomerate and keep to the path intensely followed by its former Chairman Ratan Tata. 

"There have been over 60 significant acquisitions, many of them overseas, undertaken by Tata companies in the last two decades, and this is clearly one of the modes of growth for the group," 
Tata SonsBrand Custodian and Chief Ethics Officer Mukund Govind Rajan told in an e-mailed response. 

Some of the high-profile acquisitions made by the group, while 
Ratan Tata was at helm included Tata Tea buying the UK brand Tetley for $450 million in 2000; Tata Steel's takeover of Anglo-Dutch rival Corus for 6.2 billion pounds in 2007 and Tata Motors' $2.3 billion acquisition of British luxury vehicle maker Jaguar Land Rover from Ford Motor Co. 

Rajan said the practice of 
mergers and acquisitions has existed at the corporate centre and till recently, it was being overseen by Arun Gandhi. 

"(It) has led inorganic growth projects at Tata Sons besides assisting some of the Tata companies in their inorganic growth projects," he added. 

When asked about reports about Tata Sons searching for a head of mergers and acquisitions to fill in the vacancy after Gandhi's retirement, Rajan declined to comment. 

"As far as possible leadership changes are concerned, we will communicate these as and when they happen, and will not like to comment on speculation regarding possible leadership structures that may be put in place in the future," he said. 

Ratan Tata, who had led the transformation of the Tata group from a conventional corporate house into a multinational conglomerate, retired on December 28, 2012, at the age of 75 years. He was succeeded by 44-year-old 
Cyrus Mistry, who was chosen his successor in 2011. 

During Tata's tenure, the group's revenues grew manifold, totalling $100.09 billion (around Rs 4,75,721 crore) in 2011-12, from a turnover of a mere Rs 10,000 crore in 1991.