The fraud-hit Satyam Computer Services has received several proposals from corporate entities and private equity (PE) firms to evaluate it as an integrated company, the IT bellwether said on Tuesday but ruled out selling 'parts' of its business.
“Appropriate, fair and transparent measures for enabling open bids will be devised by the board in consultation with market regulator (SEBI) and the government, as adequate number of bidding interests have been evinced,” board member TN Manoharan, who chaired the meeting, said in the statement after a day-long board meeting.
Though some of bidders expressed interest in portions of Satyam's business, the board ruled out selling 'parts' of the company, as it would be contrary to the mandate of regulating its affairs as a going concern and in conformity with the government's stipulation.
“It is therefore not an option that is being evaluated currently,” Manoharan, former head of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), said.
The various options under the consideration of the board include identifying strategic investors, obtaining expressions of interest and ensuring a fair, transparent approach to the entire process.
“It is important to keep in view that this is now a government-administered company, reporting to the Company Law Board and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs,” the statement noted.
Responding to the move by a corporate entity (Larsen and Toubro) to acquire large portions of Satyam shares in the open market, Manoharan said the reasons for this were best explained by the purchaser.
“It should not be taken as an indication of support by the government-nominated board for change of control of Satyam at this stage,” Manoharan asserted.
In this connection, the board appointed Goldman Sachs and Avendus as investment bankers to advise the company on the way forward and to explore various strategic options.
It also appointed Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as management advisors to support the directors and the leadership team.
The board announced that salaries for January will be paid as scheduled from its internal accruals and receivables.
“Further validations have been done relating to the employee numbers and there are sufficient data points to reinforce the understanding that the earlier reported numbers hold good,” the statement added.