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Satyam may opt for open bidding; board meet today
February, 12th 2009

The board of Satyam Computer Services, which will meet here on Thursday, will chart out a long-term roadmap for the company in the next 10 days, Chairman Kiran Karnik said.

The board will also take a call on a potential buyer for the company apart from planning to get a bank loan in the next few days. Our priority is is to get stability into the company and solve the financial issues. The next phase is to plan for the medium and long-term. This is something we will be defining in the next 10 days, said Karnik.

There were also reports that the board might opt for an open bidding process, which will bring in the much-required funds into the company. The board will also insist that only companies with a good track record can bid for the company. Howerver, this could not be confirmed.

While sale of the company is imminent, Karnik ruled out the possibility of part-sale of Satyam business. The board thinks that Satyam should be looked as a whole entity. One of the reasons for this is that, there can be argument that some of the parts might get more interest. The good parts will be cherry-picked while some might be left out. In case that happens there might be a danger of people losing their jobs. Besides, companies are looking at firms holistically, he added.

Karnik agreed the company will have a new owner in some time. Bankers Goldman Sachs and Avendus Advisors will provide the inputs and the board will provide the recommendation to the government.

Some of the bidders that have shown interest in the company are L&T, which has a 12 per cent stake in the company, Aegis the BPO arm of Essar group, the Hinduja Group, Tech Mahindra and B K Modi.

He declined to comment on whether the board will decide on the open offer issue at tomorrows board meeting.

Indian firm to audit
The board of Satyam Computer Services is close to appointing an Indian audit firm to certify restated accounts of the company. The Satyam board has sent us a list of 10 Indian accounting firms, said Uttam Prakash Agarwal, the newly-elected president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

ICAI, the body that regulates the chartered accountants profession in India, will screen the firms to see if there are any pending cases against them and will revert to the Satyam board. The body also submitted the interim report on Satyams financial scam.

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