M.M. Murugappan.. Image Source: IANS News

Chennai, Nov 24 : Speculations are rife at the Rs 381 billion diversified industrial conglomerate Murugappa Group about the continuity of its two-decade-old Murugappa Corporate Advisory Board (MCAB).

It is going to be two weeks since M.M. Murugappan, Executive Chairman of MCAB stepped down Chairman and as Director of three of the listed Murugappa group companies - Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company Ltd, Coromandel International Ltd and Tube Investments of India Ltd.

According to the statutory filings by the three companies, Murugappan, as he turned 65 on November 12, and wishes to pursue philanthropy and other interests as mentioned by him in his letter to the Board.

However, the listed company Carborundum Universal, managed and run by Murugappan, was silent on the retirement issue.

Murugappan also continues to be the Chairman of Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Ltd.

The Board of Directors of Coromandel International elected A. Vellayan, as their Chairman of the Board with effect from November 12.

Vellayan, who ran the group's fertiliser business earlier, makes a comeback post retirement. He was earlier the Executive Chairman of the MCAB.

As per the group's tradition, the Executive Chairman of MCAB also steps down from the position on attaining 65 years of age.

However, the Murugappa group is silent on the transition till now though internally there is a view that the MCAB may not continue further.

"No new family member has been inducted into MCAB during the last two weeks. With Q3 results to be announced in January for the listed companies, a formal announcement may be expected before that," an official preferring anonymity told IANS.

"If the MCAB was to continue, this sort of uncertainty wouldn't be allowed to continue," the official added.

Apart from a family member, the MCAB comprises of eminent members drawn from outside the group.

Part of the next generation is Vellayan Subbiah who is the Managing Director of Tube Investments of India Ltd and also the Chairman of Cholamandalam Investment.

The other notable of the next generation is Arun Alagappan, Managing Director, Cholamandalam Investment. He had earlier run the group's cycle business under Tube Investments.

The Managing Director of Parry Enterprises India Ltd, M.A.M. Arunachalam (also known as Arun Murugappan), is another Murugappa family member who has been appointed as a Director in Tube Investments.

According to group insiders, the Murugappa group is cash rich and all the companies are doing well, perhaps barring E.I.D. Parry owing to sugar's cyclical nature.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at v.jagannathan@ians.in)

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