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Satyam a/cs may be restated
July, 10th 2009

Satyam Computer Services, now Mahindra Satyam, is set to seek a three-month extension of the deadline for restatement of accounts of the scandal-hit software firm, to March 31, 2010. Satyam is also considering the appointment of Deloitte as its statutory auditor for this fiscal year, according to people privy to this information.

The Satyam board is scheduled to meet on Friday and will discuss, among other items, a proposal to extend the deadline for the re-statement of accounts, as a matter of abundant precaution. If the proposal is cleared and approved by the board, the company will approach the Company Law Board for a formal approval, said an official who wished not to be named.

Global audit firm Deloitte is the statutory auditor of Tech Mahindra, the new owner of Satyam. If the appointment goes through, KPMG will have to complete the forensic re-statement of Satyams accounts. A Satyam spokesperson said the company wouldnt comment on speculative reports.

The two firms KPMG and Deloitte were mandated to re-state Satyams accounts over the past six years, after Satyams defamed founder B Ramalinga Raju, confessed to fudging the books to perpetrate a Rs 7,000 crore scam in January this year. It is also learnt that Deloitte is likely to recuse itself from restating the accounts of Satyam, as there would be a conflict of interest if appointed as a statutory auditor of Mahindra Satyam.

While Deloitte declined to comment on client matters, a person close to the development said a likely appointment as a statutory auditor could clash with Deloittes function to re-state the accounts as the case is high profile and being closely-watched.

The audit firm would also be able to compare the price that Tech Mahindra paid with information about Satyam that it already has through the restating mandate. This would then put the audit firm in a delicate position, said the person.

Tech Mahindra paid Rs 1,750 crore to buy a 31% stake in Satyam in a closely-fought race. Satyam board member Deepak Parekh had earlier told ET that the re-stating process was taking time as many documents were not available with the company, with many torn or misplaced and some confiscated by investigating agencies.

The re-statement, once completed, would give a clear picture of Satyams revenues. The firms revenues, estimated at around $1.8 billion before the scam, came under pressure due to client attrition. According to one estimate, the companys revenues would reportedly be around $1.2 billion going forward.

The CLB recently authorised the Satyam board to appoint statutory auditors to carry out the audit for the company for FY10.

The firms accounts were audited by Price Waterhouse till September 2008. The government nominated Satyam board removed PriceWaterhouse, after two of its auditors were charged of conniving with the defamed founder of Satyam B Ramalinga Raju, to perpetrate the scam. The firm had said that the accounts it had audited could no longer be relied upon.

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