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L&T: white knight or dud investor?

Can Larsen & Toubro rescue Satyam? Or is it interested in its controversial sistern concern Maytas for its infrastructure business?

business Updated: Jan 09, 2009 22:17 IST
HT Correspondent

Can Larsen & Toubro rescue Satyam? Or is it interested in its controversial sistern concern Maytas for its infrastructure business?

The construction giant holds nearly 4 per cent in the company, becoming its biggest shareholder all of a sudden, but is saddled with a huge book loss because it bought them in December.

Apparently, L&T, which is holding 3.95 per cent, acquired the shares to become a strategic partner but now has second thoughts. L&T also has a strong information technology subsidiary.

“We won't sell now as Satyam's business has potential. There is no intention of buying or selling Satyam shares as of now,” L&T Chairman AM Naik said. He added that the company has mark-to-market losses on Satyam but have not booked it yet.

“Everyone thought that Satyam had cash and at that point every businessman would have found value in Satyam and a right business move,” said Hitesh Agarwal, head of research, Angel broking.

Experts believe that L&T spent close to Rs 480 crore to buy the 3.95 stake in Satyam in the first week of January and even though the mark to market losses will not get reflected in the March- end figures, it will get reflected later.