Tainted “satyam”: B Ramalinga Raju, founder and former chairman leaving a court in Hyderabad
AT LEAST two bidders said on Friday (March 20) that they were in the race for India’s Satyam Computer Services as a deadline expired for suitors to show they were serious about buying the scandal-tainted outsourcer.
Potential bidders had until late Friday to show they had at least Rs.15bn ($300m/£207m) to back up their interest in the software services export giant whose finances were left in shambles by its founder.
Indian tycoon BK Modi’s Spice Group and telecom software firm Tech Mahindra Ltd (TML) said they were in the running for Satyam while engineering giant Larsen & Toubro said it would file a formal expression of interest.
Larsen & Toubro has already built up a 12 per cent stake in Satyam and is seen as a frontrunner for a majority stake in the firm which has been battling to pay wages since founder B Ramalinga Raju declared in January he had inflated the balance sheet by over one billion dollars and exaggerated profits.
US-based iGATE Corp, meanwhile, announced it had backed out of the running for Satyam after voicing doubts about the “financials” of the company at the heart of India’s biggest financial fraud.“Based on further analysis, it (iGATE) has decided not to participate further in the bidding process,” iGate said in a statement on its web site.
Satyam made no comment on the bidders.
The government-appointed board is looking to offload 51 per cent of yderabad-based Satyam, which is desperate for an injection of funds. The board, which has said it hopes to wrap up the sale within the next couple of months, was due to meet Saturday to scrutinise the bids.
Those accepted would be given “access to certain business, financial and legal diligence materials” relating to Satyam, the company said.
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