My bulldozers and cranes build the nation: L&T CEO’s retort to Mindtree promoter’s ‘tree’ jibe

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Published: March 19, 2019 1:12:49 PM

After infra major L&T picked up 21% stake in Mindtree, L&T CEO S N Subrahmanyan said that his bulldozers help in building the ‘nation,’ in an apparent reply to Subroto Bagchi’s tweet which said that people with bulldozers are here to cut the tree.

L&T’s Subrahmanyan also said that the firm is approaching this acquisition in good faith, with ‘Dil’ and ‘Pyaar’. 

Even as the corporate battle heats up between L&T and Mindtree after infra major picked up 21% stake in the IT company, L&T CEO S N Subrahmanyan said that his bulldozers help in building the ‘nation,’ in an apparent reply to Subroto Bagchi’s tweet which said that people with bulldozers are here to cut the tree.

“An imminent threat of hostile takeover of Mindtree has made me resign from the Government to be able to go, save the company,” Subroto Bagchi tweeted on Sunday, adding that he must protect the Tree from people who have arrived with bulldozers and saw chains to cut it down so that in its place, they can build a shopping mall.

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L&T’s Subrahmanyan also said that the firm is approaching this acquisition in good faith, with ‘Dil’ and ‘Pyaar’, responding to queries over the nature of the first ever hostile takeover in Indian IT sector. We take a closer look at the contentions of both the parties:

Mindtree promoters vow

While Subrahmanyan said that L&T’s offer is not ‘hostile,’ Mindtree promoters said that it would unconditionally oppose the attempted hostile takeover bid. “A hostile takeover by Larsen and Toubro, unprecedented in our industry, could undo all of the progress we’ve made and immensely set our organisation back,” the promoters said in a statement on this morning.

A joint statement by Krishnakumar Natarajan, Subroto Bagchi, Parthasarathy N.S. and Rostow Ravanan said that they remain 100 percent committed to the long-term vision of building an independent company. “We believe it’s in the best interests of our shareholders, Mindtree Minds, and our organization overall to continue opposing this takeover attempt. In addition, there has been a large outpouring of sentiment from Mindtree Minds online at #MindtreeMatters expressing their strong desire to retain our culture and our independence,” said Mindtree in a statement.

L&T says approaching Mindtree with ‘love’

In a press conference held this afternoon, Subrahmanyan said that “blood, sweat, toil, passion and sacrifice” of thousands of employees have helped in taking the firm to where it stands today, and the acquisition of Mindtree is a very conscious decision, after taking into account the best interests of all stakeholders. Subrahmanyan noted that he has a personal relationship with Mindtree promoter Krishnakumar Natarajan. “There are emotions involved, but business is business. What we are trying to do, is with, if I can use the word ‘pyaar’ and we will continue to look at it as something we are doing from our ‘dil’. And we will continue to look at it with the same manner and purpose,” he said at a press conference  on Tuesday.

The deal protects Mindtree from any other potential hostile takeover, he added. Sharing L&T point of view, SN Subrahmanyan said that VG Siddhartha of Mindtree approached the firm a few months back to look at his 20 percent stake in the company. “He had been a long-term investor, and wanted to house his stake in a group with value system and ethics. From our point of view, the move made a lot of sense from our IT portfolio point of view. We also had dialogue with the Mindtree management,” SN Subrahmanyan noted.

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