Billionaire Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. has bought a stake in Wipro Ltd., its first ever purchase of an Indian-based software outsourcer.
The New York hedge fund acquired 1.855 million American depositary receipts, or about 0.04 percent of Wipro’s share capital, according to a filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission. Though tiny when compared with Elliott’s stake of more than 4 percent in rival Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp., which has the bulk of its operations in India, the holding in Wipro gives the fund another foothold in the nation’s $167-billion IT services industry at a time its main players are re-tooling to shore up margins amid tighter client budgets.
Elliott is known for shaking up companies. At Cognizant, it pushed for a board re-shuffle and a $3.4 billion return of capital to shareholders, setting off a wave of dividend and share buyback announcements among its IT peers.
Billionaire founder Azim Premji owns over 73 percent of Bangalore-based Wipro. The company declined to comment on the purchase by Elliott.