Mumbai: Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross has acquired the second largest stake in the US securities of Satyam Computer Services Ltd, after missing out in an April auction for control of the software developer.
Billionaire investor: WL Ross Co. chairman and CEO Wilbur Ross. Matthew Staver / Bloomberg
Invesco Private Capital Inc., controlled by Ross, bought 1.8 million American depositary receipts, according to filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The securities, equivalent to two of Satyam’s Indian shares, were worth $3.11 (Rs152.79) apiece at the end of June, according to the filing. Ross in April offered the equivalent of 80 cents per depository receipt for a controlling stake.
Satyam, at the centre of India’s biggest corporate fraud, has more than doubled since Pune-based Tech Mahindra Ltd, a software provider, won the auction on 13 April. The government took over the management of Satyam after founder B. Ramalinga Raju’s January admission that he overstated assets by $1 billion.
Tech Mahindra chairman Anand Mahindra, who outbid Ross and Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) with a $579 million offer in April, has said he’s taking a calculated risk in buying Satyam before the company restates accounts and without clarity on liabilities from lawsuits in the US.
Ross, who made his fortune taking over bankrupt steel, coal and textile companies, offered Rs20 and L&T bid Rs45.9 a share, Satyam chairman Kiran Karnik said on 13 April.
Ross didn’t immediately respond to emailed questions about his investment in Satyam.
The investment makes Invesco the second largest shareholder in Satyam’s depository receipts, behind Security Investors Llc, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Ross invested in SpiceJet Ltd, India’s second largest budget airline, in July last year after record fuel costs deepened the Indian carrier’s losses. In February 2007, Ross acquired OCM India Ltd, a worsted suiting maker, for about $37 million, in his first investment in India.