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Nadar sells 2.5% stake in HCL, to give money to education sector

Philanthropy

HCL founder-chairman Shiv Nadar raised around Rs 585 crore by selling about 2.5% stake in HCL Technologies on Thursday, and said the proceeds will be donated towards philanthropic investments in India’s education sector. The Shiv Nadar Foundation, launched by Mr Nadar, will use this money for expanding its philanthropic efforts across thousands of schools and colleges in the country.

The stake sale was done by HCL Corp, the holding company of software services firm HCL Technologies and computer hardware company HCL Infosystems. It is headed by Mr Nadar’s daughter Roshni. As of March 31 this year, the Nadar family held around 50.27% stake in HCL Technologies.

HCL Corp sold 16.75 million shares of HCL Technologies in two tranches on BSE on Thursday. About 8.37 million shares changed hands at a volume-weighted average price of Rs 347.98 and another 8.37 million shares at Rs 350.79. Private fund house Citigroup Global Markets Mauritius bought a chunk of the shares. Citigroup and Deutsche Bank AG are learnt to have assisted HCL Corp in the transaction.

The first-generation entrepreneurs of the Indian IT industry have been driving their philanthropy agenda through focused initiatives. While Wipro chairman Azim Premji’s foundation focuses on improving the quality of primary education in the country, the Infosys Foundation works on rural development and social rehabilitation.

The Shiv Nadar Foundation was established to focus on areas related to transformational education. The work on the foundation began in 1994 with the establishment of SSN Trust. Later, the name of the foundation was changed to Shiv Nadar Foundation.

The total quantum of donations, as disclosed by listed companies, has grown over the past few years. In April, Infosys Technologies chief mentor NR Narayana Murthy and his family donated $5.2 million to Harvard University and Harvard University Press to establish a new publication series called The Murty Classical Library of India.

Early this year, 70-year-old Vineet Nayyar, managing director of IT services firm Tech Mahindra, donated a third of his shares in the company worth over Rs 30 crore to Essel Social Welfare Foundation, a Delhi-based charitable organisation. Just three firms—Reliance Industries, Jindal Steel & Power and Jaiprakash Associates—had donated more than Rs 30 crore each for the year ended March 31, 2009. HCL Technologies shares closed at Rs 358.85, down 3.90% from the previous close, on BSE on Thursday.

The Economic Times, 25 Jun 2010

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