Board meets Wednesday as more suitors emerge for Satyam

February 3rd, 2009 - 10:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Ramalinga RajuHyderabad, Feb 3 (IANS) The government-appointed directors of Satyam Computer Services will meet here Wednesday for the fifth time in three weeks to take forward their search for candidates for top positions and a strategic investor or outright buyer for the cash-starved company. The meeting is being held against the backdrop of reports that several major companies were exploring option of taking over Satyam, the country’s fourth largest software exporter.

The six new directors had said after their last meeting Jan 27 that the fraud-hit firm had received several proposals from corporate entities and private equity (PE) firms to evaluate it as an integrated company.

“Appropriate, fair and transparent measures for enabling open bids will be devised by the board in consultation with market regulator (SEBI) and the government, as adequate number of bidding interests have been evinced,” board member T.N. Manoharan said in a statement after chairing the Jan 27 meeting.

Though some of bidders expressed interest in portions of Satyam’s business, the board ruled out selling ‘parts’ of the company.

The other members of the board are Deepak Parekh, chairman of the Housing Development and Finance Corp (HDFC), former president of software industry body Nasscom Kiran Karnik, former Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) member C. Achuthan, mentor of Confederation of Indian Industry Tarun Das, and Life Insurance Corp nominee S.B. Mainak.

The six directors have shortlisted three candidates for the posts of chief executive and chief financial officer. Though they had indicated on Jan 27 that they will finalise names in the ensuing week, it has not yet been done.

The company has paid the January salary to the employees. There is a dispute over the number of employees with Andhra Pradesh police contesting the figure of around 53,000 given by the disgraced founder Ramalinga Raju. The government appointed board has also said the employee strength is over 50,000.

A Satyam spokesperson indicated that there will be interaction with the media after Wednesday’s meeting. “A statement will be issued post-meeting,” the spokesperson said.

Ahead of the meeting, the spokesperson said the company has about 15 new contracts, mostly from existing clients in the US and Europe, but he declined to give details of revenue from them.

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