iGate backs off; board meeting again in Mumbai today.

Our Bureau

Hyderabad, March 20 As the deadline for filing Expression of Interests ended on Friday, the six-member board of Satyam met here to discuss the EoIs and bidding process.

L&T, Spice Corp and Tech Mahindra have submitted their EoIs to take part in the bidding process, even as iGate backed off from the race. The exact number of EoIs is immediately not known as reports suggested that some multinationals and private equity firms might have shown interest through proxies and tie-ups.

Deloitte and KPMG, which were restating Satyam accounts, and Goldman Sachs and Avendus, which are helping the board in the bidding process, have made presentations. They deliberated on the kind of information that could be shared with the short-listed bidders, sources told Business Line.

Mr Homi Khusrokhan and Mr Partho Datta, the advisors to the board, too, were present. The board would hold discussions in Mumbai on Saturday.

iGate announced that it was backing off. Sources said that the decision had been taken based on further appraisal of the offer.

Meanwhile, Spice Corp has submitted its EoI for Satyam. The Chairman, Dr B.K. Modi told Business Line, “We are emphasising on speed and transparency. Satyam Board should share with us whatever information, financial or otherwise, they have on the company. Our price bid will depend on that.”

Overstaffed?

One of the major issues the bidders faced was staff numbers. Unconfirmed reports suggested that the company might have 15,000-18,000 excess employees.

“However, if one looks at Satyam’s reported revenues vis-À-vis the headcount, the current employee strength looks manageable,” a person familiar with Tech Mahindra’s interest in Satyam said. The restatement of revenues would give clarity on whether the company was overstaffed or not, he said.

The Satyam share ended at Rs 43.90 on Friday on BSE as against a previous close of Rs 44.35.

(with inputs from our Mumbai, New Delhi Bureaus)

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 21, 2009)
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