New Delhi: Wipro Chairman Azim Premji will transfer company shares worth Rs 8,846 crore to his endowment trust later this month, with a view to fund philanthropic activities taken up by the body.
Once the share transfer is complete, the promoters’ stake in Wipro would come down to 72 per cent from 79.36 per cent at present, according to a company official.
“Azim Premji will transfer 213 million equity shares (valued at approximately at Rs 8,846 crore at the current market price) of Wipro, held by certain entities controlled by him, to an irrevocable trust,” Wipro said in a statement today.
The share transfer would be concluded on December 7.
Asked if the move was aimed at bringing down the promoter’s participating interest to 75 per cent, in line with proposed new norms making it mandatory for the public to hold a minimum 25 per cent stake in listed companies, Azim Premji Foundation CEO Dileep Ranjekar replied in the negative.
“The trust will fund the philanthropic activities of the Foundation and not (for) any other purpose,” Ranjekar said.
The foundation, which was set up in 2001, works largely for the cause of education in rural India.
“We believe that good education is crucial to building a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society. We want to contribute significantly towards improvement of education in India and through that, towards building a better society,” Premji said.
Premji, who is also Wipro founder, plans to set up the Azim Premji University, which is expected to start operations next year. The university will offer programmes and conduct research in the field of education and other related areas.
“All our efforts, including the university that we are setting up, are focused on the underprivileged and disadvantaged sections of our society,” Premji said.
His industry peer and Infosys Chief Mentor N R Narayana Murthy offloaded 800,000 shares in the company earlier this year to set up venture capital firm Catamaran, with a corpus of Rs 174 crore.
In June this year, HCL Corporation Chief Shiv Nadar sold a 2.5 per cent stake in HCL Technologies to raise over Rs 580 crore for charitable activities.
Shares of Wipro closed at Rs 414.55 on the Bombay Stock Exchange today, down 1.34 per cent from the previous close.