March 26, 2019 / 10:18 AM / 3 months ago

Mindtree scraps share buyback plan after L&T open offer

A sign of Larsen and Toubro (L&T) is placed on a road divider in Mumbai, May 25, 2016. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/Files

(Reuters) - Indian IT services company Mindtree Ltd on Tuesday ditched a plan to buy back shares in a bid to counter conglomerate Larsen & Toubro Ltd’s (L&T) hostile takeover approach.

Mindtree would also form a committee of independent directors to evaluate L&T’s offer, it said in a statement.

This comes after L&T offered to buy 51.3 million Mindtree shares at 980 rupees each to add to the 20.32 percent stake it agreed to buy from coffee baron V.G. Siddhartha last week.

This is part of a hostile takeover bid which was shunned by Mindtree’s founders last week, who said it would not create value for the firm or its shareholders.

L&T bought a fifth of Mindtree from Siddhartha and companies related to him for 32.69 billion rupees ($474.73 million) and said it planned to raise its stake to 66 percent.

It had placed an order with its broker to purchase up to 15 percent of Mindtree’s shares on the market along with the 31 percent it was looking to acquire from shareholders of the IT company.

L&T shares ended little changed while Mindtree’s stock ended up 1 percent in Mumbai’s market.

($1 = 68.8670 Indian rupees)

Reporting By Arnab Paul in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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