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Satyam suitors may get last 2 quarters' info
Leslie D'Monte & Arun Kumar in New Delhi | March 11, 2009 03:55 IST
The Satyam [Get Quote] board may present prospective bidders for the troubled Satyam Computer Services with operating statements for two quarters -- October-December 2008 and January-March 2009 -- to help them arrive at a decision.
The statement will include the revenue figures, client additions and operating margins but will not give bidders a sense of the liabilities. It will also include the tenure of some of the major contracts, major competitors with regard to the large clients and mention the number of deals that are coming up for renewal shortly, but will not disclose any names.
This is necessary, said a source close to the development, since the restatement of Satyam's accounts is unlikely to be over by March 31 as anticipated earlier. Satyam's accounts are under forensic scrutiny after the company's promoter, Ramalinga Raju, confessed to long-term fraud on January 7.
"Despite a huge team of Deloitte and KPMG on this job, there will be a significant delay in this regard," said the source. Satyam's fixed assets are understood to have been valued by the government-appointed board at around Rs 1,800 crore.
Raju and several Satyam executives are in jail and a government-appointed board has invited bids for 31 per cent in what was India's fourth largest software services firm.
On the liability front, at least 13 class action lawsuits were filed in the US federal courts about two months ago. "The liability could be anywhere between $700 million and $900 million (Rs 3,500 crore and Rs 4,500 crore)," said a prospective bidder. B K Modi, chairman of Spice group -- who confirmed he will bid for Satyam -- said his lawyers had pegged the liability at between $440-840 million (around Rs 2,200-4,200 crore).
Besides, UK-based mobile solutions firm Upaid's case against Satyam comes up for hearing in June 2009 in Texas. The damages can run up to $1.1 billion.
"Putting a value to Satyam currently is a shot in the dark," admitted a prospective bidder, adding: "Hence, we expect the bids to be conservative." Clients are already said to be moving out, and some key account managers too are said to have left Satyam. The timelines of some contracts also could have suffered, said sources close to the development. Any delay in completing contracts on time attracts hefty penalties, according to the service level agreements (SLAs).
An analysis by Edelweiss pointed out that around 70 per cent of revenues (a large proportion is non-annuity based) are up for renegotiation or renewal in Q1 and Q2 of this fiscal.
Satyam, on its part, dismisses these claims, saying the company has won new purchase orders and work extensions totalling over $250 million (around Rs 1,250 crore) since January 7 this year.
Surprising, say analysts, when other major IT firms are facing the heat.