L&T Infotech looks to buy into Mindtree; Jio may spin off towers into infra trust
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Mindtree’s largest shareholder, VG Siddhartha, is in advanced discussions with L&T Infotech, KKR, Baring Private Equity Partners Asia and Prem Watsa’s Fairfax to sell his entire stake in infotech firm Mindtree, persons in the know told The Times of India.

The Economic Times reported that L&T Infotech non-executive chairman AM Naik met Siddhartha last week over the deal to sell the Café Coffee Day founder’s entire 21% stake. The newspaper also said that the meeting was followed by another between an L&T team and Mindtree management, which did not offer any deal commitment.

Siddhartha may sign a deal with one of the entities mentioned above within the next 10 days, the people said.

However, Mindtree founders, who together own around 13% of the Bengaluru-based firm, do not favour a sale or merger of Mindtree. The founders are four in number: Subroto Bagchi, N S Parthasarathy, Krishnakumar Natarajan and chief executive Rostow Ravanan.

“We have not been approached nor communicated about this. It is Mr Siddhartha’s decision on how he wants to sell his shares,” Ravanan told The Economic Times. “As far as the founders are concerned, we are committed to Mindtree and its strategic goals. We are not taking part in any of this,” Ravanan said.

According to The Economic Times, Naik had offered Rs 1,150-1,200 per share as early as December on the condition that Siddhartha should win the favour of the management for the deal. In case founders are not part of the deal and management control doesn’t come along, most potential acquirers have indicated they would offer a lower price.

In anticipation of a deal, the Mindtree stock has already risen eight per cent since the beginning of the month.

Meanwhile, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd may reduce its debt by putting up its fibre and tower assets in an infrastructure investment trust, analysts said after a meeting with executives of parent Reliance Industries Ltd, according to a Mint report.

Infrastructure investment trusts pool small sums of money from multiple investors for assets that ensure cash flow over a period of time. Investors receive part of the cash flow in the form of dividends.

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