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Satyam board to scrutinise bids later this week

March 17, 2009 17:40 IST

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The government-appointed board of Satyam [Get Quote] will look into the bids for strategic stake in the company on Friday or Saturday, said a source in know of the developments on Tuesday.

At least seven companies, including Larsen & Toubro, i-Gate, Spice and Mahindra Group, have already submitted proposals to the board last week and the bids to be accepted till March 20.

"The board will meet either on Friday or Saturday. . .the board expects to reach clarity on the time-frame to complete the selection process by next week," the source told PTI in New Delhi.

Satyam expects to chalk out a time-frame for the selection process by next week to end the uncertainly on the future of the troubled IT major, the source said.

The board has already said that it has received adequate interest from both Indian and international bidders, including private equity firms.

As per the guidelines set by the board, interested parties have to submit bids by March 20 with proof of funds of Rs 1,500 crore (Rs 15 billion).

To ensure hassle-free and transparent bidding, the board had appointed former Chief Justice of India S P Bharucha to oversee the process. (The board is understood to have met Justice Bharucha in Mumbai last week to discuss the sale process.

Considered a front-runner, L&T has appointed Citi and Nomura to advise it on a possible deal with Satyam.

At present, the engineering major has 12 per cent stake in the target firm and is believed to be in talks with private equity firms to mop up funds for the stake buy.

A few other bidders like i-Gate have reportedly sought more accurate estimates of the actual liabilities of Satyam, which is yet to be ascertained.

The government scrapped the former Satyam board and reconstituted it with a group of experts after the Hyderabad- based firm's founder-chairman B Ramalinga Raju confessed to gross manipulations in the company's balance-sheet.

The new board includes HDFC [Get Quote] chairman Deepak Parekh, former Sebi member C Achuthan and former Nasscom chief Kiran Karnik.

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