Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T), one of the largest shareholders in Mahindra Satyam, which was formed when Tech Mahindra Ltd took over fraud-hit Satyam Computer Services Ltd last year, is planning to sell its stake in the information technology firm. L&T’s chief financial officer Y.M. Deosthalee said in an interview that his company was unhappy with Mahindra Satyam for keeping investors in the dark about its performance over the past year. Edited excerpts:
Seeking transparency: L&T chief financial officer Y.M. Deosthalee. Abhijit Bhatlekar / Mint
What are your plans for your stake in Satyam?
As far as the Satyam stake is concerned, it is not strategic anymore for us, and therefore, we will have to sell. I think the timing will depend on the market. The timing will depend also on the information which comes out from the company; also what are the long-term prospects of this company. Therefore, depending on that, we will take a call.
Unfortunately, we do not have any information from this company since the transaction happened in the last year. Therefore, we do not know how is the underlying performance of this particular entity. There is neither any information on sales, (nor on) Ebidta (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), number of employees; nothing is known as far as this particular entity is concerned. Unfortunately, I do believe shareholders are in complete darkness as to what is going on in this company. So we will take a call, I hope by June we will know something, and then we will decide when to sell the balance shares.
But as a large shareholder, you are in a good position to find out Satyam’s figures. (L&T chairman and managing director) A.M. Naik can call up (vice-chairman and managing director of Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd) Anand Mahindra and get the information. What are you waiting for?
Whatever I had to say, I have said. I wouldn’t say I am frustrated, but it is a fact that there is no response; there is no information from the company. I understand that there is a problem about the past, but I do not know why the current information is not forthcoming. For the last one year, for all the four quarters, we do not know how the performance of this company is and we have no idea, shareholders do not know what is actually happening. Mr Naik can pick up a call, but that is a different matter. But my point is different. I think all the shareholders need to know.
And you have heard nothing from Tech Mahindra?
I have not heard anything from Mahindra Satyam.