Business

‘Mindtree deal sealed over a cup of coffee’

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How CCD founder convinced L&T to buy his 20.4% stake in the IT major

“A lot can happen over coffee,” is the tagline of Cafe Coffee Day and its promoter V.G. Siddhartha, who entered into a ₹3,269-crore deal with Larsen and Toubro over a cup of coffee with its MD and CEO S. N. Subrahmanyan to sell 20.4% stake. Mr. Siddhartha, who met Mr. Subrahmanyan through a mutual friend, offered his 20.4% stake in Mindtree to L&T.

“I didn’t show much interest then; we had good coffee, I took him around the campus and he went away. But he kept meeting me. It was the fourth or fifth time, when I asked him ‘Sir, why are you asking us to do this? We have not shown any interest. Of course, we want to grow our services portfolio so it looks interesting but I don’t know,” Mr. Subrahmanyan had told The Hindu in a recent interview.

Mr. Siddhartha told him, “I invested in this firm 19 years ago, I have been part of its growth; I have done everything possible to be there, I have done everything possible to support the management. I moved out of the board right now, I don’t want to be parked; I want to sell my shareholding. If you are not interested, I am going to sell it anyway to somebody, I don’t know who it is [going to be]. I am not asking you for a big price, [but for] the correct price. I am not going to bargain with you.”

 

V.G. Siddhartha's and Café Coffee Day's journey through the years

When Mr. Subrahmanyan asked why L&T?

Mr. Siddhartha said, “From governance point of view, from ethics point of view, from principles’ point of view, from vulnerability point of view, from history point of view, you are a safe person where I feel that whatever I invested and brought up is kept and you will take it forward in the same manner in the time to come.”

So, it is he who persuaded us to take this 20.4% holding in Mindtree, said Mr. Subrahmanyan, who added, “we are not investors, we are involved people, once you have 20.4%, we had to move forward to 26% to make an open offer.”

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 11:32:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/mindtree-deal-sealed-over-a-cup-of-coffee/article28762967.ece

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