L&T seeks Sebi approval to sell Satyam stake

L&T seeks Sebi approval to sell Satyam stake

Bangalore: Engineering and construction firm Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) has sought permission from capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to sell its stake in Mahindra Satyam Ltd, an L&T spokesman said on Wednesday.

L&T has sought the permission as an enabling arrangement and has not set a time frame for selling its holding, the spokesman said.

L&T acquired a 12% stake in the erstwhile Satyam Computer Services Ltd before the sale of that firm, which was rattled by India’s biggest corporate fraud in January. In April, L&T lost out in the race for a controlling stake in Satyam Computer to Tech Mahindra Ltd.

Based on the expanded share capital after Satyam’s takeover, L&T’s stake in the company is now 6.9%, according to Thomson Reuters data. At current prices, the holding is worth nearly Rs900 crore.

Under the conditions of the Satyam sale, firms that bid for it are barred from selling their stakes acquired prior to the bid for six months as they were given access to Satyam’s financial information that was not public at that time. Satyam had not reported audited results beyond the September quarter.

In January, founder and chairman B. Ramalinga Raju shocked investors by saying the firm’s profits had been overstated for years.

In June, Satyam released financial figures for the first time since the revelation of the fraud, ahead of the open offer by Tech Mahindra.

“We are asking for a concession since the information that was made available to us as a bidder is public now," the L&T spokesman said.

Ami Shah contributed to this story.