Mumbai: Indian engineering and construction firm Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) has appointed Citigroup and Nomura as advisers on a potential deal for Satyam Computer Services Ltd, three banking sources with knowledge of the deal said on Friday.
L&T is the largest shareholder in Satyam, having built up a 12% stake last month, and has asked the two firms to start work on a possible bid, the sources said. They declined to be named as they are not authorized to talk to the media.
“As expected, we are clearly waiting for the signals and guidelines from the Satyam board to proceed. We see some action next week,” one source said.
L&T and Citigroup declined to comment, while Nomura could not be reached immediately.
Separately, Price Waterhouse, the Indian affiliate of global accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, said it received a notice from Securities and Exchange Board of India in connection with the investigation of the accounting fraud at Satyam Computer Services Ltd. The notice is under examination, Price Waterhouse said in an emailed statement on Friday. As this is an ongoing investigation at a preliminary stage, it is inappropriate to comment further. We continue to cooperate fully with the ongoing investigations into Satyam, the auditing firm said.
Elder Pharma to buy majority stake in UK’s NeutraHealth
Elder Pharmaceuticals Ltd has informed Bombay Stock Exchange that its wholly owned Dubai subsidiary has made an unsolicited offer to NeutraHealth Plc, UK, in which it has 21% stake. “The approach may or may not lead to a partial offer that would result in the subsidiary’s shareholding increasing from 21% to between 50 and 60%. The indicative partial offer price is at or around 5.5 pence per share,” the company informed the stock exchange on Friday. The UK company, which is one of the leading nutraceutical companies, posted sales of around Pounds 25 million last year. Elder Pharma’s executive director Alok Saxena said the deal will help the Indian company to enter the UK’s growing nutraceutical market, besides a manufacturing outsourcing opportunity for Elder Pharma in India.
— C.H. Unnikrishnan