The hunt for a new owner for Satyam Computer Services has entered the final lap. Three months after its founder and former chairman B Ramalinga Raju confessed to a $2 billion fraud, the government-appointed board will meet in Mumbai on Monday to open the final bids for a strategic sale of the firm.
Bidders have been allowed to submit bids until 9 am on Monday.
Engineering major Larsen & Toubro, which holds about 12 per cent stake in the company, Tech Mahindra, and US-based private-equity giant WL Ross and Nasdaq-listed Cognizant Technology Solutions together are expected to be locked in a three-cornered contest to acquire the company that still boasts of several marquee clients.
Investment banking circles did not rule out the possibility of a hitherto unreported dark horse walking away with the highest bid. If there is a suitor with a 10 per cent difference with the top bidder, an open auction process will be held. Otherwise, the top bidder will be named the winner. Former chief justice of India SP Bharucha will oversee the process.
The company’s management is unlikely to change hands on Monday. The successful bidder’s name will have to be approved by the Company Law Board (CLB) and the bid amount will have to be transferred to the company’s account before the management is handed over.
The investor, who must have net assets of over $150 million, will not be allowed to sell any equity for three years.