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BT sells 14.1% of TechM

Mumbai, Aug. 30: British telecom firm BT today sold 14.1 per cent of its holding in Tech Mahindra for Rs 1,395 crore (158.6 million).

The sale was done through block deals on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange and was managed by global investment bankers JP Morgan and Credit Suisse.

Though details of the block deals could not be known from the exchanges, BT in an announcement said it sold 1.79 crore shares in Tech Mahindra to institutional investors for Rs 777.73 per share.

BT added that the sale left it with a 9.1 per cent shareholding in the Mahindra group company and further sales may be considered in the future. It did not offer any time frame for future sales.

The sale price is at a discount of nearly 7 per cent to Wednesday’s closing price of Rs 835.60.

News of BT selling its stake had led to Tech Mahindra shares coming under pressure on the bourses today.

The Tech Mahindra share, which has fared well this calendar year, slipped nearly 5.20 per cent to Rs 792.15 on the BSE today. The stock had hit a low of Rs 775 in morning trade but managed to recover some lost ground.

BT Group is a co-promoter of Tech Mahindra. In 2010, BT had sold a 5.5 per cent stake in the company to Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M).

For the quarter ended June 30, BT held a 23.16 per cent stake in Tech Mahindra. While M&M held around 47.57 per cent of the promoter holding, a small stake is with Mahindra BT Investment Company Mauritius.

Promoters held roughly 71 per cent of the company during the period with institutional shareholding at around 21 per cent. The rest is held by individual shareholders and non-resident Indians.

BT had been looking at paring its stake in Tech Mahindra for quite some time, but it has been waiting for the right market conditions to go ahead with the sale. Tech Mahindra shares hit a 52-week high of Rs 887.70 earlier this week on August 27, triggering the share sale.

The Mahindra group is currently in the process of merging its other IT firm Mahindra Satyam with Tech Mahindra. Shares of Mahindra Satyam, which have also gained considerably in the recent past, fell about 2 per cent at the BSE today.