The Mystery Behind Mastek’s Buyback

On 29 October, Mastek made the following announcement:


Mastek Ltd has informed BSE that the members of the Company will consider to approve the following Special Resolution by way of Postal Ballot:

– Approval of Board of Directors (which expression shall Include a Committee of Directors of the Company constituted for the purpose) for the purchase of the Company’s fully paid up Equity shares each of a face value of Rs 5/- to the extent not exceeding 25% of the Company’s paid up Equity Share Capital at a price not exceeding Rs 750 Per equity share from the Open Market through Bombay Stock Exchange Ltd and National Stock Exchange of India Ltd and the total aggregate amount to be expended by the Company for the Buy-back not exceeding Rs 65 crores, i.e. within 25% of the Company’s fully paid-up Equity Share Capital and Free Reserves as per audited Balance Sheet as on June 30, 2007, subject to necessary provisions & approvals.

The Board of Directors has appointed Mr. V V Chakradeo, Practicing Company Secretary as the Scrutinizer for conducting the Postal Ballot process in a fair and transparent manner.

The Postal Ballot form duly completed and signed, should reach the scrutinizer not later than the close of working hours on November 26, 2007. The results will be announced on November 27, 2007.


Why did the company give a maximum price of Rs 750 per share for its buyback, even though the current market price is Rs 280 per share. Indeed, adjusted for stock splits and bonus issues, this company has not seen its stock price hit Rs 750 in the last seven years.

So, could this be gimmick? How can we ascertain this? (Hint: The company has done a buyback before. What happened then?)
Does the buyback make sense at a small premium to current stock price? Why? Why not?