Infosys Co-Founders Sell About $1 Billion of Stock

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The families of four co-founders of Infosys Ltd. sold about 65 billion rupees ($1 billion) of stock to capitalize on a gain in their price and to fund philanthropy.

Co-founders N.R. Narayana Murthy, K. Dinesh and Nandan M. Nilekani and their families sold 30.2 million shares at an average price of 1,988.87 rupees, according to an e-mailed statement today. The wife of S.D. Shibulal also sold 2.4 million shares, with all sales to institutional investors handled by Deutsche Bank AG.

India’s second-largest software services company this year hired its first chief executive officer that wasn’t one of the seven men who founded Infosys, with Vishal Sikka taking the role in August. The former SAP AG executive, who replaced Shibulal, is trying to boost profit margins and revive sales growth that lags behind its four nearest domestic rivals.

“Infosys founders are partly offloading their holdings to give the company a more professional look,” said Deven Choksey, managing director at K.R. Choksey Shares & Securities Pvt. “To a larger extent they have achieved it.”

Shares of Infosys fell 4.7 percent to 1,973.50 rupees as of 12:15 p.m. in Mumbai, paring this year’s gain to 13 percent.

Infosys has been the best-performing stock on the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex in the past two decades, having risen 64 times in value in the period versus a nine-fold gain in the index, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The stock sales represent about 2.8 percent of the company’s shares and were done together to ensure an organized selldown with the founder group to continue hold stakes in the company, according to the statement.

‘Philanthropic Activities’

“The sale has been done to partially monetize their stake, after more than three decades of nurturing the company,” the founders said in the statement. The sale is also “for personal reasons including for the betterment of society through various philanthropic activities.”

Infosys was founded in 1981 and has more than 161,000 employees, according to its website.

The company is trying to win contracts in an environment where companies want mobile applications to interact with consumers and rent shared computing services rather than maintain their own servers. Sikka has been meeting customers and employees as part of efforts to boost sales at Infosys.

In October, Infosys shares surged to a record after the company said it would issue stock as a dividend to shareholders and posted profit that beat analyst estimates.