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Satyam begins bidding process to select investor
March 09, 2009 18:25 IST
Last Updated: March 09, 2009 19:04 IST
Acting fast after getting the Sebi go-ahead on Friday, Satyam Computer Services Ltd [Get Quote] on Monday kicked off the much-awaited bidding process to sell a 51 per cent stake in the company and found a positive response from two key suitors -- L&T and Spice Corp.
Shares in Satyam jumped as much as 16 per cent, valuing the company at about $630 million, way behind the $7 billion valuation it commanded last year. Shares of the beleaguered company closed at Rs 48.75, up 15.80 per cent.
Engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro Ltd, which is a 12 per cent shareholder in the company, said it hopes to bid.
"We expect we will (bid for Satyam). We are a contender," spokesman D Morada told PTI. He said the bidding has no link with L&T's shareholding. These are two separate issues.
Analysts said L&T would put in an expression of interest, but a formal bid will depend upon clarity on financial statements and the extent of Satyam's liabilities.
Spice Group chairman B K Modi said his company would bid for Satyam.
"We are going to bid. It is a good start and we will bid before Thursday (March 12, when prospective bidders are to register)," he told PTI.
Modi said it is a good thing that the bidding is taking place online and there is no floor price, which should encourage many players to participate in the process. Transparency is the key, he said.
He said Spice Corp will have no problem in submitting cash proof of Rs 1,500 crore (Rs 15 billion) as the company has got enough funds in the bank.
Tech Mahindra [Get Quote], another possible suitor, said it can't bid unless there are enough data available to take a call on valuation and on the legal complications today said its position has not changed with regard to bidding.
The Hinduja Group said it is looking at bidding for Satyam Computer Services but yet to take a decision. "We are looking at that (bidding for Satyam) . . . we have to take a decision," Hinduja Group CFO Prabal Banerjee told PTI. He said the bidding process outlined by Satyam is transparent and he expects competition in the run-up to the final exercise.
The bidders will have to register with Satyam by March 12. Satyam said under relaxation of rules by the market regulator, there was no requirement to have a floor price, otherwise needed under Indian law for the initial subscription.
Satyam said in a statement that bidders need to submit their interest by Thursday (March 12). They will then be asked to submit a detailed expression of interest by March 20.
The company said qualified bidders will be shortlisted and given access to certain business, financial and legal materials, and after completing the due diligence process, they would need to submit their financial bids.
Based on an evaluation of the bids, the company will select the successful bidder.
The two-phase exercise to induct a strategic partner involves a 31 per cent stake sale by issuing fresh equity and then a 20 per cent open offer by the successful bidder.
The Hyderbad-based company faces a number of class-action lawsuits from US shareholders.
Goldman Sachs and Indian investment bank Avendus Advisors are advising Satyam's board on the sale process. The restatement of accounts, currently under way, is being done by KPMG and Deloitte in January.
Satyam, which once was the fourth-largest software exporter, has been struggling with some key client losses ever since its founder Ramalinga Raju disclosed in January that profits had been overstated for years and assets falsified in what has become India's biggest corporate scandal.