Infosys Drops as Two Founders Sell Shares to Raise $129 Million

  • Gopalakrishnan, Shibulal sell a combined 7.5 million shares
  • Infosys declines most in almost two weeks after the block deal

Infosys Ltd., India’s second-largest software exporter, dropped the most in almost two weeks after two of its founders and others sold shares for “personal reasons” and philanthropy.

S. Gopalakrishnan sold 5 million shares in the open market, while S.D. Shibulal and his family members sold 2.5 million shares at an average price of 1,149.45 apiece, helping raise about 8.62 billion rupees ($129 million), they said in a statement. The sale was executed by Citigroup Global Markets India Pvt.

“The sale has been done to partially monetize their stake, having nurtured the company for more than 3 decades, for personal reasons including for the betterment of the society through various philanthropic activities," according to the statement.

Shares of the Bengaluru-based company tumbled 3.1 percent to 1,142 rupees as of 3:16 p.m. in Mumbai, paring this year’s gain to 3.5 percent. Infosys has been the best-performing stock on the S&P BSE Sensex over the past two decades, having posted a 39 percent annual gain compared with the 10 percent yearly return for the benchmark gauge, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In December 2014, the families of four founders of Infosys -- N.R. Narayana Murthy, K. Dinesh, Nandan M. Nilekani and Shibulal -- sold about $1 billion of stock to capitalize on a gain in the stock price and to fund philanthropy.

Founded by seven engineers in 1981 with a seed capital of $250, Infosys signed its first customer in the U.S. later that year and opened its first overseas office in Boston in 1987, according to its website. It was steered by its founders until August 2014, when the company hired Vishal Sikka, an SAP AG executive, as chief executive officer to help reverse four straight years of narrowing profit margins. Shibulal was the last founder CEO of Infosys.

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