New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) Diversified conglomerate Larsen & Toubro (L&T) may checkmate Mindtree founders by proceeding ahead with its hostile bid to acquire the mid-tier IT Services company as early as Monday evening or early next day.
Sources privy to the development told IANS that last-minutes discussions were on between the leadership team in L&T and that a decision will come out soon.
The founders of Mindtree have given a call for a board meeting on Wednesday to discuss the buyback plan that would stave off threat of a hostile takeover by L&T.
L&T proposes to buy out Cafe Coffee Day founder and Mindtree’s largest shareholder, V.G. Siddhartha, and proceed with an open offer to further buy public shareholders spending close to Rs 7,000 crore and taking a controlling stake in the company, said the sources.
Siddhartha with his holding of 20.4 per cent in Mindtree is the single largest shareholder. L&T is looking to take up its stake further to around 51 per cent post the open offer.
On Sunday, Mindtree co-founder and ex-CEO Subroto Bagchi resigned as head of the Odhisa Skill Development Authority, saying he was returning to the company.
“An imminent threat of hostile takeover of Mindtree has made me to resign from the government to be able to go save the company,” Bagchi tweeted.
“I must protect the Tree from people who have arrived with bulldozers & saw chains to cut it down so that in its place, they can build a shopping mall.”
Mindtree shares rose over 1.74 per cent to Rs 962.50 at close of market hours on the BSE on Monday.
This will be the first-ever hostile takeover move in India’s technology sector. The four remaining founders of the two-decade-old, Bengaluru-based Mindtree – Krishnakumar Natarajan, Subroto Bagchi, N.S. Parthasarathy and current CEO Rostow Ravanan – together hold 13.32 per cent in Mindtree.
They are holding on with their shareholding and want to increase it through a buyback. But their financial muscle would come into question to take over the might of L&T.