TCS board approves up to Rs 16k-cr share buyback plan

TCS board approves up to Rs 16k-cr share buyback plan

Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons, addresses the annual general meeting of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), in Mumbai on Friday. PTI

The board of India's largest IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on Friday approved to buy back 1.99% of the total paid-up equity share capital.

The buyback programme, second in the last two years, comprises 7,61,90,476 equity shares of Re 1 face value at Rs 2,100 per share amounting to Rs 16,000 crore.

"...Board of Directors of the company at its meeting held today...has approved a proposal to buy back up to 7.61 crore equity shares...of the company for an aggregate amount not exceeding Rs 16,000 crore...," TCS said in a regulatory filing.

The announcement follows a similar share purchase done by the company last year. In April 2017, TCS had undertaken a Rs 16,000-crore mega buyback offer, entailing 5.61 crore shares at a price of Rs 2,850 per scrip.

In TCS’ last buyback, parent Tata Sons had tendered around 64.2% of the total shares repurchased by the company. The company's promoters are still holding 71.92% stake in the company.

In addition to the buyback of shares, TCS also announced 1:1 bonus share issue and a total dividend of Rs 50 per share for fiscal 2017-18.

Cash-rich IT companies have been under constant pressure to return excess cash on their books to shareholders.

TCS’ peers including Infosys (Rs 13,000 crore) and HCL Technologies (Rs 3,500 crore) had undertaken buybacks last year.

During its Q4 FY2018 earnings call, TCS CEO Rajesh Gopinathan had said the company's intention is "to keep capital return close to 80-100% of annual free cash flow".

The company's scrip gained Rs 49.20 at the end of Friday's trading on the BSE to close at Rs 1,841.45 as against Thursday's closing price of Rs 1,792.25. The scrip also went up to a high of Rs 1,849 and a low of Rs 1,791 during the intra-trading sessions.