The shares in Tech Mahindra closed in the red on Tuesday, although the markets ended closed on a buoyant note, on buzz that British Telecom may completely exit the company.

British Telecom (BT), which holds 9.09 per cent stake in India’s sixth largest software exporter, was looking at offloading its stake in the latter for the third time. BT has appointed Credit Suisse to manage the stake sale, which, in turn, has approached several potential buyers, various media reports said.

Tech Mahindra stock closed down 1.54 per cent at Rs 892.70 a share on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

“BT has been looking to selloff the stake for quite sometime, and has been waiting for Mahindra Satyam merger to take place. Now, it’s the question of finding the right buyer. However, if the offloading happens, business between the companies would be dealt on the arm’s length principle,” Jagannathan Thunuguntla, Equity Head at brokerage firm SMC Capitals, said.

“But considering the pedigree and parentage of Tech Mahindra, it would not be that difficult for the company to get business,” Thunuguntla added.

Analysts said that the drop was mainly on investor sentiments. This is because a large chunk of Tech Mahindra’s business comes from BT. As of September 2012 shareholding disclosures, promoters held 56.68 per cent, FIIs held 15.12 per cent and DIIs held 18.68 per cent in the company.

rajesh.kurup@thehindu. co.in

priya.s@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 27, 2012)
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