HCL Tech’s board has approved the proposal to buy back up to 36.4 million equity shares for an aggregate amount not exceeding Rs 4,000 crore, i.e, 2.6% of total paid-up equity share capital, at Rs 1,100 per share.
The buyback price is at 9% premium to the current market price. The buyback is proposed to be made from shareholders on a proportionate basis under the tender offer. Public announcement setting out the process, timelines and other requisite details will be released in due course. We expect promoter group to participate in buyback, which will lead to acceptance ratio of 2.3% for minority shareholders.
We believe the share buyback will alleviate concerns over accelerated inorganic strategy of the company. Moreover, if the promoters do not participate in the buyback, it could trigger positives.
Retain HOLD. As per our analysis, participation of the promoter group (60.2%) would lead to acceptance ratio of 2.3% for the minority shareholders and 17.6% for small shareholders (if 100% participates).
We see the buyback as positive given the strong cash on the balance sheet (R9,700 crore as on FY18).We believe the share buyback will assuage rising investor concern over the company’s accelerated inorganic strategy.
RoE accretion through share buyback with improving organic growth could trigger rerating. HCL Tech’s organic growth pangs led to recent underperformance. We believe share buyback would restrict downside risk.
We await more clarity on promoters’ participation on share buyback; non-participation could trigger re-rating for HCL Tech. We reiterate our HOLD rating with target price of Rs 1,000.