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17 April 2024

Seven firms in race for Satyam bid

By Agencies

Up to seven firms, including private equity funds, could bid for India's Satyam Computer Services Ltd, said a newly appointed director of the fraud-hit services and outsourcing giant.

Tarun Das of the Confederation of Indian Industries, appointed to Satyam's board after the fraud surfaced last month, did not identify the firms interested in acquiring India's fourth largest outsourcing company.

"So far, we are aware of four companies that have approached Satyam, but we have heard that another two or three firms are also interested," Das said.

"Investment bankers are talking to everybody and finding out which firm is interested, what is the level of seriousness and are evaluating the proposal before getting back to the board."

Meanwhile, a Bloomberg report said Spice Corporation Chairman BK Modi offered Rs20 billion (Dh1.5bn) for a controlling stake in Satyam, joining Larsen & Toubro Limited in the race for the software exporter.

Spice Innovation, Modi's closely held New Delhi-based holding company, has made a preliminary cash offer for preference shares in Hyderabad-based Satyam.

Satyam hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc to find a buyer after Larsen & Toubro, the nation's biggest engineering company, tripled its stake and said other bidders are interested.

Satyam shares have declined 70 per cent since founder Ramalinga Raju said on January 7 he inflated assets by $1bn (Dh3.67bn) and quit as chairman.

"Everybody has a plan for Satyam because it is available at dirt-cheap valuations," said Harshad Deshpande, an analyst at Ambit Capital Pvt.