Hinduja Group is the latest entrant in the race to buy out fraud-hit IT major Satyam Computer Services. The Economic Times reports that the Hinduja group has sent formal communication to Satyam’s investment bankers. Early this week, Satyam’s new board appointed Goldman Sachs and Avendus Capital as investment bankers to identify strategic investors and obtain expressions of interest. The other serious contenders for a slice of the Satyam pie are NRI industrialist BK Modi’s Spice Group, and the existing sharehlder, engineering major Larsen & Toubro (L&T).
Hinduja Group is looking to expand its presence in the outsourcing and information technology space. The group’s arm, Hinduja Global Solutions, has $130 million of cash in books to mount a takeover bid. The company is already in talks to raise more funds for the acquisition. Also K Thiagarajan, COO of Hinduja TMT, was previously a director and senior VP at Satyam.
In another development, global fund house Fidelity raised its stake in Satyam to 7.66%, making it the second largest shareholder. The stake has been bought from the market for about Rs 277 crore. Right now L&T is the largest shareholder with a 12% stake, and is also said to be the front-runner for Satyam. Spice Group’s BK Modi has said that they are ready to invest $408 million in Satyam, and would like a preferential issue route to acquire 51% stake in the firm.
Others like iGATE, Tech Mahindra and Essar Group have also expressed interest in Satyam or parts of Satyam. Some private equity buyout funds are also said to be looking to acquire Satyam. Many companies are also waiting for a revised balance sheet of the IT company, and also want a clarity on legal liabilities that would come with acquiring the fraud hit firm.