Chennai: Suresh Krishna, 78, was on Thursday named the chairman of TV Sundram Iyengar and Sons Ltd, the holding company of the $6.5 billion TVS group, which has interests in auto and automotive components, electronics and financial services.

TVS and Sons said in a press statement announcing the move that it will apply to the Registrar of Companies to start the process of becoming a private limited company. The board and the shareholders of TVS and Sons have approved a proposal to this effect, and the new structure will better reflect the shareholding structure of the company, the statement added.

A private limited company does not need to have independent directors, and will not require its auditors to be mandatorily rotated every three years.

“It is a good move, but a long pending one," said Kavil Ramachandran a professor at the Hyderabad-based Indian School of Business.

Ramachandran, an expert on family businesses, said the move would appear to be prompted by the new companies’ law that will require the company, if it stays a public limited one, to disclose information on its shareholding and investments in other group companies, something the group may not be comfortable with.

A member on the board of TVS and Sons said the provisions regarding independent directors and auditors in the new law, which comes into effect from 1 April, were indeed the main reasons behind the change. This person asked not to be identified.

Krishna himself could not be reached for comment. The news of his appointment was reported first by The Hindu-Business Line on Wednesday itself.

A second board member, who, too, asked not to be identified, said the extended TVS family was happy with the move, but declined further comment.

The holding company has not had a chairman for more than a decade since the demise of R. Ramachandran in December 2004.

TVS and Sons, directly or indirectly, holds shares in all 60 TVS companies.

The board of TVS and Sons has representation from four of Iyengar’s sons T.S. Rajam, T.S Krishna, T.S. Santhanam and T.S Srinivasan. Each of the four sons has three family members on the board. The board has 12 family members.

There will be no change in the structure of TVS and Sons in terms of shareholding pattern, changes in board members and representation of family members after it is converted into a privately held company. Everything will remain the same, said the first board member.

The TVS group follows a loose federal structure, with each of the four branches functioning independently.