Hyderabad: Maytas Infra Ltd, the ailing infrastructure firm now controlled by Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd, said it has found documentary evidence that Satyam Computer Services Ltd, now MahindraSatyam, was the ultimate beneficiary of some Rs324 crore of inter-corporate deposits (ICDs) issued by it.
The erstwhile promoters of Maytas Infra—the family of the jailed founder of Satyam, B. Ramalinga Raju—had issued ICDs to various companies amounting to Rs391.64 crore. Of this, Rs323.78 crore ultimately flowed into Satyam, Maytas’ new management said in a statement on Tuesday.
Maytas has now claimed the amount plus interest from Satyam. “The company is confident of recovering the inter-corporate deposits together with interest due thereon,” it said. Arun K. Saha, chairman of Maytas Infra, said the firm has moved the ministry of corporate affairs on the matter.
“We had already made our stand clear earlier on such claims as untenable,” a Mahindra Satyam spokesman said.
The software firm’s new management in November said it had received legal notices from 37 firms claiming a refund of Rs1,230.40 crore allegedly given to it as temporary advance. They had claimed the money back to repay their creditors, including Maytas Infra and Maytas Properties Ltd.
Raju, who confessed in January 2009 to the Rs7,136 crore accounting fraud at Satyam, has in his letter to the stock exchanges referred to a net amount of Rs1,230 crore that he had arranged from 37 firms. Satyam has since changed hands and is now owned by Tech Mahindra Ltd, a Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd entity.
“The claim of Maytas Infra for Rs324 crore from Satyam Computer comes in as a negative for the software firm, which could successfully manage to settle the claim of Upaid Systems,” said Srishti Anand, an analyst with ICICI Direct. “However, it is difficult now to predict the exact financial implication of the fresh liability on Satyam Computer.”
In December, Mahindra Satyam had agreed to a $70 million (Rs326 crore today) legal settlement with British firm Upaid Systems Ltd to end all disputes between them.
The disputes related to a project that Satyam and Upaid had jointly worked on in the late 1990s. Upaid had sought damages of at least $1 billion for the cumulative losses it claimed to have suffered as a result of Satyam’s actions.
Earlier in the day, Maytas Infra said it had narrowed net losses for 2009-10 to Rs252 crore from Rs474 crore the previous fiscal, but its revenue declined to Rs1,150 crore from Rs1,719 crore earlier as it lost some key projects.
“One of the biggest challenges the company had was its high debt compared to equity. We could successfully address the issue by entering into a corporate debt restructuring (CDR) with the lenders and rope in the global infrastructure giant Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) as co-promoter,” said Saha.
Maytas Infra’s debt will decline to about Rs800 crore after the CDR programme, from Rs1,800 crore earlier.
Saha added the firm expects to turn profitable in the next 12-18 months because of the debt restructuring, capital infusion (by SBG) and new contracts. Maytas Infra now has orders worth some Rs7,000 crore to be executed over the next 24-30 months.
As a part of the CDR package, the company is offering Rs250 crore worth optionally convertible cumulative redeemable preference shares and Rs55 crore worth cumulative redeemable preference shares to its lenders. It is also offering 2.82 million equity shares of Rs10 each to the lenders at a price to be determined as per regulatory guidelines. The conversion of debt into equity will enable lenders to acquire a little more than 3.5% in Maytas Infra, Saha said.