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Hindujas join race for Satyam

Hindujas join race for Satyam
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First Published: Sun, Feb 01 2009. 02 21 PM IST
Updated: Sun, Feb 01 2009. 02 21 PM IST
New Delhi: The number of suitors for the beleaguered Satyam Computer is increasing as Hinduja Global Solutions, an arm of the Hinduja Group, has evinced interest in acquiring the troubled IT company.
Company officials told PTI that HGSL has sent a formal communication to Goldman Sachs, the newly-appointed investment banker for Satyam, saying that it is keen to participate in the bidding process as and when it starts.
The company has over $100 million in books and if required promoters Hindujas would also chip in, the officials said.
The Satyam board, which is meeting on 5 February, is likely to take stock of such proposals.
With HGSL joining the race, the parties in race for the scam-hit company have increased to three. Engineering giant L&T and diversified group Spice Group are the other two.
Officials of iGate, which had earlier evinced interest, said the company would only be able take a call on sending the formal proposal after the restated financial figures are out. ”Till then we would wait and watch,” they said.
Meanwhile, an alternative asset management firm Kolbert Kravis Roberts and private equity firm Texas Pacific Partners (TPG) were non-committal on their interests in Satyam
A KKR spokesperson said, ”As a matter of company policy we never comment on enquiries or speculative market rumours of this nature.”
A TPG spokesperson also said, ”We will have no comment in New Delhi.”
Tarun Das, a member of the government appointed Satyam board had earlier said that many private equity players had approached the board of the company.
One of the suitors, L&T, has already increased its stake in Satyam to 12% from over 4% earlier, while asset management firm Fidelity upped its stake in Satyam to 7.66%. Both the companies raised their stake in the IT firm through open market transactions.
The other suitor Spice Group, which has made a formal bid for the scam-hit Satyam Computers, wants auction route for the acquisition of the company as the chairman BK Modi feels auction is the most transparent way.
“I don’t want a negotiated deal. We want auction of the company, as that is the most transparent method to decide on the valuation. We want to enter the company through the preferential route.
“Auction can take care of the legal liabilities that is attached to the company which is in a bad shape,” Modi told PTI adding his company which has Rs2,000 crore in cash to infuse into the company, but does not want to enter Satyam through open market.
He said the company expects to get a response from the board of Satyam on Monday.
He said the Satyam needs a strong leadership and in the present circumstances the IT firm would not be able raise loans and it needs direct cash infusion which we can provide straight away.
Modi had earlier sold his telecom company Spice Communications to Idea Cellular for Rs2,700 crore.
Satyam has run into crisis following its founder B Ramalinga Raju’s confessions that he inflated company’s account books for many years to the tune of Rs7,800 crore.
Following the revelation, its board has been disbanded and the government appointed a six-member board to steer the company out of trouble.
Multiple agencies are now probing into Satyam fraud.
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First Published: Sun, Feb 01 2009. 02 21 PM IST