Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Mindtree not in talks to buy out biggest shareholder VG Siddhartha: CEO

The Bengaluru IT service company's founders are not looking to sell their own stake either, the CEO reiterated

Harichandan Arakali
Published: Jan 31, 2019 03:18:32 PM IST
Updated: Jul 23, 2020 01:28:02 PM IST

Rostow Ravanan

Mindtree Ltd or its founders are not in any discussions to buy out the company’s largest shareholder, VG Siddhartha, said chief executive Rostow Ravanan in an interview with Forbes India on Thursday.

“The founders are not in discussions with anybody,” Ravanan said. “If Siddhartha does want to sell, it is completely his prerogative—the timing, choice of buyer, price etc. The team at Mindtree is not getting involved in those discussions in any fashion.”

Siddhartha, founder of the Café Coffee Day chain of restaurants, is looking to sell his entire stake of 21.4 percent in Mindtree to help pare some of his business’s debt, reported newspapers including the Times of India, Economic Times and Mint recently, citing unnamed sources. The papers have also pointed to Mumbai’s Larsen & Toubro and US-based private equity company KKR & Co. Inc. as potential buyers.

“This is unconfirmed directly by the shareholder,” Ravanan pointed out. Siddhartha or his company, Coffee Day Enterprises, have never formally or informally told Mindtree’s founders anything, nor have they confirmed to the media on the plans they have for their stake sale, he said.

The founders are not looking to part with their own stake in the company and are committed to implementing a well-articulated vision for the Mindtree of the future, Ravanan added. “At an individual level, none of us believes that the time has come for us to go do something else with our lives, so we have no plans to do anything with our stake,” he said.

Ravanan and three other co-founders—Krishnakumar Natarajan, NS Parthasarathy and Subroto Bagchi—together own about 13.3 percent of Mindtree.

“We have a great relationship with Siddhartha, who has supported Mindtree for more than 20 years. We are confident that he is not going to do anything that damages the interests of Mindtree in any way,” he added. “Therefore, we are happy to let him make his own choices based on his own priorities.”