As Larsen & Toubro (L&T) tries to consolidate its takeover battle for Bangalore-based software company Mindtree, it has now expressed a willingness to allay the concerns of the target company founders.
L&T had earlier struck a deal with Mindtree’s largest shareholder V.G. Siddhartha to pick up his 20.32% stake. This drew a hostile reaction from the company’s founders, Krishnakumar Natarajan, Subroto Bagchi, Parthasarathy N.S., and CEO Rostow Ravanan, who collectively hold a 13.2% stake in the 20-year-old organization.
Last week Bagchi, who until 2016 was the Mindtree CEO, wrote an impassioned letter to employees claiming that the founders were offered large sums of money by L&T to give Mindtree away, but had refused. He told them that the founders were doing what was “right”, not what was “convenient”.
In response, the L&T Chairman A.M. Naik said his company was open to talks with the Mindtree founders in order to allay their concerns. Naik pointed out that it was Siddhartha who had approached them and wondered therefore how the proposed move could be termed a “hostile” takeover, Economic Times reports.
He also dismissed speculation that the future of Mindtree employees would be in danger. He pointed out that L&T has done a lot for its own employees and even formed the L&T employees trust, which owns 19% stake in the company.
He said L&T had built businesses in the software sector through its two units L&T Infotech and L&T Technology Services. L&T management has stated that post-acquisition, Mindtree would be allowed to operate as an independent entity.