Thursday, June 30, 2011


Ashok Soota, co-founder and former chairman of MindTree, has sold almost half of his 11.1 per cent stake in the mid-sized information technology (IT) services company for Rs 94 crore.
The 5.5 per cent stake was bought by Coffee Day Resorts, an entity owned by Cafe Coffee Day Group owner, V G Siddhartha. Siddhartha already owns 6.12 per cent in MindTree through his venture capital company Global Technology Ventures (GTV).
Soota sold 2.2 million shares at Rs 433 per share, a 20 per cent premium to the stock’s closing price of Rs 361 yesterday, in a bulk deal on the National Stock Exchange. Shares in MindTree on Thursday closed 8.77 per cent higher at Rs 392.65 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
“Siddhartha from GTV is an existing member of the board of directors at MindTree, and has supported us for over 12 years now. The move indicates that the original investor has an abiding faith in the fundamentals of the company and the future,” MindTree said in a statement.
Soota, who co-founded MindTree in 1999 with nine other industry professionals, resigned in March, citing personal reasons. Soon after, he announced his new venture in IT services space, Happiest Minds.
“The cash raised through the stake sale will be used to fuel my new venture, Happiest Minds, and also the NGO (non-governmental organisation) which I have planned,” Soota told Business standard.
Among the promoters of MindTree, Soota was the single largest stakeholder with a 11.1 per cent stake as on March 31. When asked if he was planning to exit MindTree by selling his remaining stake, Soota said it would be done in due course though he had not set a time frame for this. “There is an emotional quotient attached to MindTree. At this point of time, I have not decided about selling the remaining stake or exit. But I will divest the shares.”

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