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Satyam asks for expressions of interest by 12 March

10 марта 2009

Satyam Computer Services Ltd. Monday said it has begun the process of selecting an investor to acquire a 51% stake in the company.

Prospective bidders must submit expressions of interest by March 12, and show that they have available funds of at least INR15 billion ($290 million) by March 20. Those selected will get access to certain Satyam business, financial and legal documents to allow them to conduct due diligence, said the software exporter.

Satyam shares jumped 15% to INR48.45 on the news, compared with a 0.9% decline in the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index. At 0610 GMT, the stock was up 14% at INR47.65 in a market down 1.8%.

Satyam has been in turmoil since founder B. Ramalinga Raju - for long the poster boy of India's IT boom - said Jan. 7 that he overstated the company's profits over several years and created a fictitious cash balance of more than $1 billion.

's capital markets regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India Friday approved Satyam's plans to offer a 51% stake to an investor.

The investor will have to buy 31% of the company, and then make an open offer for another 20% at the same price.

If, despite the open offer, the investor gets less than a 51% stake, it can make up the shortfall by subscribing to new equity shares. The subsequent subscription, if any, won't require an open offer.

Buyer must submit payment in four days

After the due diligence is completed, all short-listed prospective buyers will be asked to submit bids.

Satyam will evaluate the proposals and select a buyer, and apply for approval from the Company Law Board and the SEBI.

The successful bidder will have four days to deposit the money for the 31% purchase with the company, and the funds for the public offer in an escrow account.

Satyam said also that the process for selecting a bidder will be overseen by a former chief justice of
India or a former Supreme Court judge appointed by the company.

Interested buyers include the Hinduja Group, engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro Ltd., software firms HCL Technologies Ltd. and Tech Mahindra Ltd., and the B.K. Modi-led Spice Group.

Источник: Total Telecom

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