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Money Jan 18, 2013

Wipro sell stake to reduce promoter control to meet Sebi norm

Bangalore: Wipro will sell a small stake if it is not able to bring down the promoter holding in the company to 75 percent even after the completion of demerger process and certain other steps being taken to meet regulatory norms, its Chairman Azim Premji said today.

On Wipro's strategy to bring down the promoter stake as per market regulator Sebi's mandate, Premji also said it will depend on the eventual interpretation of the guidelines. Under Sebi norms, privately promoted companies are expect to have a public shareholding at 25 percent by June 2013, while the same for the state-run listed companies has been relaxed to 10 percent, which has to be met by August 2013.

According to the mandate, Premji has to reduce the promoter stake in the company to 75 percent by June this year. Reuters

According to the mandate, Premji has to reduce the promoter stake in the company to 75 percent by June this year. As on December 31, 2012 promoter and promoter group shareholding in Wipro stood at 78.29 percent.

If Sebi's interpretation is the same as Wipro has positioned in its application, then it would bring it down to 75 percent after taking into account demerger component and "certain other steps that we are taking", Premji said.

It that does not happen, he added: "We will sell a small stake; it will not be large." Besides, the BSE and the NSE, the company is listed on the New York Stock exchange. The company has proposed including the ADR as part of public float because "ADR is quoted, so its part of public float", Premji said.

The Bangalore-based company is confident that Sebi would be "sympathetic" towards "some of the interpretations suggested (by Wipro)", he added. The company's Chief Financial Officer Suresh Senapaty
said the demerger process is expected to be completed in the next four-five months.

PTI

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