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IBM joins bidding race for Satyam

Reuters
Mar 26, 2009 at 01:24pm IST

Bangalore: The board of Satyam Computer Services has shortlisted about eight bidders, including IBM and private equity firm Apax Partners, for buying the fraud-hit outsourcer, the Economic Times said on Thursday.

Indian engineering conglomerate Larsen & Toubro, Tech Mahindra and diversified Spice Group are among other selected bidders for a 51 percent stake, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources.

US-based IBM has registered its interest through a law firm, it said.

BID TO WIN: IBM is among the eight players in Satyam bidding race.

The shortlisted bidders will do their due diligence of Satyam over the next two days, it said, quoting a person familiar with the development.

A spokeswoman for Satyam said the company would not make any comment on the bidding process. Spice Group Chairman B.K. Modi told Reuters on Wednesday the company might withdraw from the race to buy Satyam due to a lack of desired transparency in the bidding process.

New York-listed Satyam has been struggling since founder and Chairman Ramalinga Raju shocked investors in January, saying profits had been overstated for years and assets falsified in India's biggest corporate scandal.

Raju is being held in jail.

Satyam said on Tuesday it hoped to finalise a by April 30, and that potential bidders, who had submitted a detailed expression of interest by March 20, should expect to receive a response by Wednesday.

The Satyam board is looking for a buyer to help restore the confidence of its more than 600 clients and about 50,000-strong staff, but there are concerns about the extent of the fraud, whether it is losing customers and its legal liabilities.

The company's accounts are yet to be restated.

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