MindTree: Co-Founder Soota Sells Half His Stake

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 30 June 2011, 12:01 Hrs
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MindTree: Co-Founder Soota Sells Half His Stake
BANGALORE ? MindTree former chairman, Ashok Soota, has sold half of the 11 percent stake he held in the Indian software services provider in a deal likely valued at 942 million rupees ($21 million), three months after he left the company he co-founded, reports y Dhanya ANN Thoppil and Sudeep Jain from ET.

Soota, who recently launched his own information-technology firm, said he sold 2.2 million shares on the open market, but didn't name the buyer and the price at which he sold the shares. "I have no idea who the buyer is," he said.

Rostow Ravanan, chief financial officer at MindTree, said earlier that Global Technology Ventures Ltd., one of the initial venture-capital backers of the company, has bought the stake. He also didn't specify the price.

Two dealers said there was a block deal of about 2.2 million MindTree shares on the National Stock Exchange. They said the deal was at 428 rupees a share, 18.6% higher than the stock's closing price of 361 rupees.

MindTree shares closed 8.8 percent up at 392.65 rupees Thursday on the Bombay Stock Exchange, after easing from their day's high of 426.60 rupees, but still outperforming the benchmark Sensitive Index's 0.8% gain.

Post the stake purchase, Global Technology Ventures' holding in MindTree would have risen to 13 percent-14 percent, Ravanan said. "I see this as a sign of somebody who has invested in us since 1999 continuing to support the company."

Soota, who co-founded MindTree along with eight others, exited it at the end of March and launched Happiest Minds Technologies Pvt.

During the launch of Happiest Minds, Soota said he would require more funds once the new company becomes operational and that he could sell his stake in MindTree to fund part of the requirements.
On Thursday Mr. Soota said a part of the cash from the stake sale will be utilized to fund Happiest Minds.

Before leaving MindTree, Soota had jointly issued a statement with the company saying he would sell his stake in "due course of time," but without affecting the company's operations.

Mr. Soota said he had informed the company a week ago about his desire to sell part of the stake.

He declined to comment on plans to sell the remaining shares, but said, "as of now the trading window is closed."

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