Azim Premji to transfer two billion to trust supporting education

Thursday, December 2, 2010

NEW DELHI - Azim Premji, chairman of India’s third largest IT services firm, Wipro, will transfer Rs 8,846 crore (two billion rupees) equity shares of the company to a trust controlled by him, which will use the money for charitable causes.

The transfer to Azim Premji Trustee Company Pvt. Ltd will be effective December 7.

The Azim Premji Foundation, started in 2001, has worked on the quality of education with various state governments focusing on the underprivileged.

The foundation will create district-level institutions with 50-70 people in each and these state and district resource centres will support improvement in education, especially in disadvantaged areas.

“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 in a statement.
“Our efforts are focused on the underprivileged and disadvantaged sections of our society. Our experience of the past 10 years has motivated us to significantly scale up our initiatives, across multiple relevant dimensions,” he added.

The Wipro shares are currently held by certain private companies controlled by Premji. The voting rights of these shares will remain with Premji, even though his stake in the IT giant will come down as a result of the donation.

The transfer amounts to over a tenth of Premji’s total wealth from Wipro, which stands at Rs 80, 670 crore. He has given away 10.9 per cent of his holding as promoter.

However, since he retains the voting rights of the transferred shares, Premji will need to dilute his holding further in order to meet public shareholding norms. (ANI)

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