Patni stake sale hits pvt equity roadblock
Patni's proposed stake sale has been stalled, with private equity investors refusing to give its promoters a berth on the board, report Venkatesh Ganesh and Vyas Mohan.business Updated: Sep 17, 2007 22:24 IST
Patni's proposed stake sale has been stalled, with private equity investors refusing to give its promoters a berth on the board after the deal.
Sources close to the development said final rounds of negotiations have been stalled, as private equity players raised objections against the inclusion of Ashok Patni and Gajendra Patni (who together hold 29 per cent stake in Patni Computers, the country's sixth largest software exporter) on the company's board.
Apax Partners, Tech Pacific Group and the Blackstone Group have been eyeing a 12.01 per cent stake of the two brothers and 12.91 per cent of General Atlantic Partners. The PE investors refused a berth for both the Patni brothers on the board since they fear unnecessary interference by them in management decisions.
A Patni spokesperson said, "The company cannot comment on specific intentions of individual investors. We have not received any notification from any of our large shareholders of their intent to offload any stake. As a policy, the company does not comment on speculation."
While General Atlantic Partners wants to sell its 16.38 per cent stake, promoter Narendra Patni is reportedly interested in selling his 14.97 per cent stake subject to the offer price, while retaining management control.
It is learnt that the private equity players are pitching hard for management control, while including Narendra Patni as a non-executive director on the company board.
According to sources, the PE investors have offered Rs 650-710 per share of Patni.
General Atlantic Partners, which bought a 3 per cent stake in the company for $100 million in 2002, which was also regarded as its best investment in Asia, now wants to exit it for obvious reasons. Patni, despite being in the software business for almost three decades, has been steadily losing ground to majors like TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Satyam and HCL in the last few years and even mid-tier companies such as Mphasis and i-flex have sold their majority stakes to EDS and Oracle.