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IBM may be in fray, murky numbers a hurdle for bidders

business Updated: Mar 06, 2009 23:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
IBM may be in fray

A clutch of Indian and multi-national companies have shown keen interest in acquiring the controlling stake in fraud-hit Satyam Computers, but the prospective suitors have sought more clarity on legal and financial liabilities of the tech firm.

Global technology giant IBM, heavy engineering major Larsen and Toubro (L&T), iGate Global, Tech Mahindra, B.K.Modi
controlled Spice Group and the Hinduja group are believed to have shown interest in taking control of Satyam.

L&T, which owns 12 per cent stake in the company, said it would wait for the final auction details after regulators approved a 51 per cent stake sale plan by the government-named board.

“We have not decided anything as of now. We will wait for the finer points which the Satyam Board is expected to issue. It is also important to see what information is provided on the financial and legal position of the company,” Y.M.Deosthalee, chief financial officer of L&T told HT.

Satyam is facing serious fraud charges in the United States, apart from charges in India. The financial implications of legal tangles are yet to be ascertained.

About a dozen US-based securities and anti-trust firms have filed class action suits or collective law suits against the company. Besides, online and mobile payments service leader, Upaid Systems has charged Satyam of forging documents.

The Hinduja Group said it has officially told investment bank Goldman Sachs that it was interested in buying a strategic stake in Satyam.

“We are yet to go through the guidelines. After a detailed analysis, we will be able to comment on the issue,” Ashok Hinduja told HT. While refusing to comment on the issue an IBM spokesperson said: “ We do not comment on speculation.”

If IBM wins the race to acquire Satyam, it will match domestic giants like Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services in India, with a combined employee strength of over 125,000 people.

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