Tata Sons, the holding company of salt-to-software Tata Group, has made over Rs 10,278 crore by tendering shares in the recent buyback programme by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). TCS, which is India’s largest software company, had kicked off its Rs 16,000-crore mega buyback offer from May 18, and the programme closed on May 31. It entailed 5.61 crore shares at a price of Rs 2,850 per equity share.
According to a regulatory filing, Tata Sons had tendered over 3.60 crore shares, accounting for 64.2 per cent of the total shares bought back by the company. Other large investors who participated in the buyback included Government of Singapore, Copthall Mauritius Investments Ltd and EuroPacific Growth Fund. While the Government of Singapore got over Rs 335 crore, Copthall Mauritius Investments, about Rs 187 crore, and EuroPacific Growth Fund garnered over Rs 161 crore from the buyback programme.
TCS’ buyback programe was met with lukewarm response from small shareholders. The general category, which included financial institutions and foreign investors, tendered over 12 crore shares against 4.7 crore reserved for them. The Indian IT companies have been under pressure to return excess cash on their books to shareholders through generous dividends and buybacks. TCS rival, Infosys has also announced its capital allocation policy to return up to Rs 13,000 crore this financial year through dividend and/or buyback.
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Earlier this year, Cognizant announced a $3.4 billion share buyback, bowing to pressure from activist investor Elliott Management Corp. Smaller peer, HCL Technologies has also approved a buyback of up to 3.50 crore shares worth Rs 3,500 crore.