ibnlive » Business

Apr 06, 2009 at 06:35pm IST

Satyam board says price will decide winner

The race for Satyam is nearing its climax. The board on Thursday tweaked the bidding process and the winner is likely to be announced by April 15. CNBC-TV18's correspondent Ashwin Mohan reports.

There was a late evening development on Friday which caught everyone by surprise. There was a slight tweak in the bidding process.

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For the first time ever in the bidding process, the Satyam board has categorically put out one particular clause saying that ranking of the bidders will be based purely on price. So this is for the first time they have gone out in open and said, “We will rank the bidders only on the basis of price.”

MONEY GAME: Satyam's board has made it clear they will rank the bidder on the basis of the price.

There will be an open auction of sorts but one has to remember one clause over here that this open auction will be triggered only if there is a 10% differential between one or more bids and the highest bid. In the open auction, the highest bid becomes a floor price. So, all the other bidders have to bid above that particular floor price.

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Thus, clearly prima facie it looks like a move by the Satyam board to maximise value in the bidding process. So this is what happened on Friday evening and what we hear from our sources is that April 13 evening is the last date for the submission of financial bids by all the potential suitors to the Satyam board and April 15 is when we can hear the name of the winner of this long and elaborated bidding process.

We have IBM, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Tech Mahindra and Wilbur Ross. Wilbur Ross might rope-in another IT player; sources say it might be a mid-sized US IT firm or a mid-sized European IT firm and there could also be a possibility of the presence of a Japanese player.

So sketchy developments now, some time later in the day we might look forward to a press release if not for the names of the bidders, it is a number of bidders at least.