LIC buys additional 2% stake in Infosys


New Delhi: Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) on Saturday said it has acquired an additional 2% stake in Infosys Ltd in over three years ending February 2017, taking its total shareholding in the Bengaluru-based software major to 7.02%.

The disclosure comes at a time when the company’s founders and its board have clashed over the issues of corporate governance, chief executive officer (CEO) Vishal Sikka’s compensation and severance pay of former chief financial officer (CFO) Rajiv Bansal.

LIC, in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange, said it has acquired about 4.63 crore shares or 2.016% stake, thus taking its total holding in Infosys to 7.023%. The transactions were made through market purchases between the period 26 September 2013 to 7 February 2017, it said. LIC said that the equity share capital/total voting capital of Infosys after the deal stood unchanged at 229.6 crore shares of face value of Rs5.

Over the last few days, Infosys has come under fire from its founders like N.R. Narayana Murthy, who have raised concerns on corporate governance lapses and questioned the compensation paid to CEO Sikka.

Murthy, along with other co-founders Nandan Nilekani and S. Gopalakrishnan have written to Infosys board asking why Sikka’s compensation was raised and hefty severance packages offered to two top-level executives who quit the company.

Sikka was paid Rs48.7 crore in base salary, bonus and benefits last year as compared to base salary of Rs4.5 crore for a partial period in 2015.

Murthy has questioned “paying the former CFO (Rajiv Bansal) a 30-month severance pay which amounted to Rs 23 crore.” Infosys, however, has denied any corporate governance lapses, and emphasised that its board is fully aligned with the strategic direction of Sikka and is very “appreciative of the initiatives taken by him in pursuance of this transformation”.