Satyam board to decide on buyout proposals: Minister

January 21st, 2009 - 3:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Ramalinga RajuNew Delhi, Jan 21 (IANS) The government has taken no view on the proposals from domestic and international companies to buy the fraud-hit Satyam Computer Services and left the decision to its new board, Corporate Affairs Minister Prem Chand Gupta has said.”There are many corporate houses, they are interested,” Gupta told reporters on being asked if the government was interested in hiving off the beleaguered firm to engineering and construction giant Larsen and Toubro.

“The government has not taken any view on this. We feel it is for the board to take a call. As far as the government is concerned, there is no such thinking, no such move,” Gupta added.

The minister said Satyam had several Fortune 500 companies as clients, besides doing work for several governments. “The government would try to preserve the company so that it does not lose face in the international market.”

Tarun Das, a member of the Satyam board and chief mentor of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), had also confirmed to reporters here Tuesday that several offers were received from Indian and foreign firms to acquire Satyam.

“Satyam has got enormous fixed, human resource and technology assets. It’s a very strong company. The board hasn’t yet discussed the issue of a buyer. But I have to truthfully say: We have been approached by potential buyers.”

Satyam is facing a major financial mess and a serious threat in continuing its operations because of the Rs.70 billion ($1.4 billion) fraud, admitted two weeks ago by its founder and former chairman B. Ramalinga Raju.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said the scam was a “blot” on India Inc’s image and that the government would unravel the plot and punish the guilty.

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