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16 Apr 2018

Whistleblower asks SEBI to question Infosys board

Whistleblower raises questions about Infosys board again

An anonymous whistleblower has sent a letter to market regulator SEBI demanding accountability about the Infosys board's decision to buy firms Panaya and Skava and sell them three years later at a significantly lower value.

The same whistleblower last year had raised charges of irregularity by the Infosys board under former chairman R. Seshasayee.

Here's more about it.

In context

Whistleblower raises questions about Infosys board again

Panaya and Skava were acquired under Vishal Sikka's Infosys regime

Skava and Panaya were acquired for $120 million and $200 million respectively by former Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka who believed these firms could automate certain processes and help employees focus more on value-added work. However, following Sikka's departure, the board has been rethinking its strategy.

Whistleblower singles out particular board members

The accused

Whistleblower singles out particular board members

On Friday, Infosys had announced that it would sell firms Panaya and Skava for a value much lesser than the $320 million they were acquired for.

In particular, the whistleblower has questioned board members Ravi Venkatesan, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Punita Sinha, and Roopa Kudva, who were all part of the board that approved the acquisitions, and now have seemingly agreed to to sell them.

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Backstory behind the decision still not known

"Shareholders want to know why the two companies were singled out as part of the sell-out plan. We don't know the backstory around it and there is no easy answer to it," said Shriram Subramanian, founder and managing director of consultancy, InGovern Research Services.

Other charges

Infosys has snubbed accusations about the Panaya acquisition

The mail to SEBI also recollects charges made earlier pertaining to the acquisition of Panaya.

It alleged that the Panaya acquisition was overpriced and that there were vested interests involved.

However, Infosys, including co-founder Nandan Nilekani, had snubbed those claims. They have maintained that highly reputed global investigating agencies had found everything about the Panaya acquisition in order.

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