Engineering and construction giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is all set to make an open offer for Mindtree shares on Tuesday after acquiring 26 per cent stake in the mid-tier IT services firm. L&T added six per cent stake by open market purchase on Thursday to add to the 20 per cent it picked up from Café Coffee Day (CCD) founder VG Sidhartha and affiliates on May 1, news reports say.
Even as a committee of independent directors will be deciding whether to accept the Rs 980 per share open offer, L&T will demand a seat on the board and can seek to be part of the promoter group as it is the largest shareholder, Mint has reported. The promoters together control 13.32 per cent stake after largest shareholder Sidhartha exited by selling his 20 per cent shareholding for an estimated Rs 3,200 crore.
Mindtree was trading at Rs 974 on National Stock Exchange (NSE) at close on Friday after opening at Rs 980.40 and going up to Rs 982.90 before bouncing off the intra-day low of Rs 973. L&T showed some volatility and was trading at Rs 1,356.95 at the close after opening at Rs 1,359.65. The share hit an intraday high of Rs 1,362.45 and a low of Rs 1,345.25.
L&T will buy another 15 per cent from the open market and 31 per cent, though the proposed open offer. Investors like HDFC Life Insurance and Enam Group sold their 1 per cent and 2.2 per cent stake respectively to L&T through Axis Capital Ltd that is managing the takeover for L&T.
L&T announced on April 18 that its initial goal would be to secure a 26 per cent stake in Mindtree from open market and high net-worth individuals. The company eventually wants to acquire 66.32 per cent stake in Mindtree for which it has amassed a war chest of Rs10,700 crore.
The founders of the Bengaluru-based company strongly opposed the takeover bid, touted to be the biggest in the Indian IT sector, trying to counter the takeover bid with emotional appeals to shareholders. However, L&T has been quietly going about the deal, finally crossing the 25 per cent stake threshold that entitles it to make an open offer.
With its 26 per cent stake, L&T will become entitled to receive a special dividend of Rs 102 crore as the Mindtree board, while declaring its annual results on April 18, announced a special dividend of 200 per cent and a final dividend of 40 per cent on every share of Rs 10 face value.