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Satyam board meets today to examine bids

March 20, 2009 04:07 IST

The government-appointed board of Satyam Computer Services [Get Quote] will meet on Friday to scrutinise the bids for a 51 per cent stake in the company and decide a schedule for completing the selection process.

"Though the board has not put out a clear agenda for the one-day meeting, the focus will be on the detailed expressions of interest submitted by the eligible bidders, which will be accepted till 5 pm on Friday," a Satyam spokesperson said.

Satyam commenced the competitive bidding process on March 9, under which interested parties have to bid by March 20, with proof of availability of funds of at least Rs 1,500 crore. The board, which had appointed former chief justice of India S P Bharucha to oversee the selection process, said on March 13 that "It has received adequate interest from both Indian and international bidders, including private equity firms."

Based on the EoIs, eligible bidders will be listed and given access to certain business, financial and legal material on Satyam, once they sign a non-disclosure and non-solicitation agreement, a stand-still agreement and a 'no-claims' undertaking. At least eight serious suitors have already entered the fray. These include Larsen & Toubro, the engineering major which already has a 12 per cent stake in the scam-hit company; Tech Mahindra [Get Quote]; the BK Modi-promoted Spice Group; and iGate Corporation. International bidders reportedly include IT giant IBM, though the company has not confirmed this.

On Wednesda, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) filed a petition with the fifth additional chief metropolitan magistrate here, seeking permission to record the statements of Satyam's former chief financial officer Srinivas Vadlamani and Price Waterhouse auditors S Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri. The court will hear the arguments on this petition on Tuesday. The Serious Fraud Investigation Office has also sought a six-day custody of all the accused. This would come for hearing on the same day.

In a related development, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which had Satyam founder B Ramalinga Raju and his aides in its custody for a week from March 10, sought another two days for questioning them by its multi-disciplinary team. The local court will pronounce its order on the CBI petition, and bail pleas of Raju brothers, Vadlamani and the PW auditors on Friday.

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