Bengaluru-based IT firm Mindtree will see the return of its co-founder, said reports. Subroto Bagchi tweeted his decision and said he was resigning from his government role to help the company fend off “an imminent threat of hostile takeover” by Larsen and Toubro (L&T).
Reports say this will be the first-ever hostile takeover move in India’s technology industry. The other three remaining founders of the two-decade-old firm, apart from Bagchi, Krishnakumar Natarajan, N S Parthasarathy and current CEO Rostow Ravanan, together own 13.3 per cent of Mindtree and are resisting the L&T bid.
Subroto Bagchi is involved with the Odisha government as Chairman of the Odisha Skill Development Authority. On Sunday, he tweeted, “An imminent threat of a hostile takeover of Mindtree has made me resign from the Government to be able to go, save the company. I must protect the Tree from people who have arrived with bulldozers & saw chains to cut it down so that in its place, they can build a shopping mall.”
An indignant Bagchi also tweeted that Mindtree was not an ‘asset’ that could be bought or sold. “It is a national resource…I need to be there in its time of difficulty.”
Mindtree has not been designed as an “asset” to be bought & sold. It is a national resource. It has a unique culture that humanizes the idea of business. It sets the standards of corporate governance. I need to be there in its time of difficulty. Hence the hard decision to return.
Bagchi’s decision comes amid speculation that L&T is in advanced stages of negotiations to buy out a 20.4 per cent stake held by Cafe Coffee Day’s founder V G Siddhartha who is also Mindtree’s largest shareholder.
Reports also say that Mindtree has called a board meeting this week.
Meanwhile, the shares of Mindtree climbed around 2 per cent on the BSE Sensex in Monday’s session amid reports of a takeover by L&T.