The outsourcing unit of engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro is in advanced talks to acquire a majority stake in software firm Patni Computer Systems, the Financial Express reported on Thursday.

"L&T Infotech has been in talks with Patni for sometime now. We have already completed due diligence," the newspaper quoted a L&T source as saying.

The paper said the three Patni brothers -- Narendra Kumar, Gajendra Kumar and Ashok Kumar -- holding a combined stake of 48.3 percent in the company, had finally decided to sell.

Earlier talks to sell the stake in 2007 fell through as one of the brothers was not willing to sell.

A spokesman for Larsen declined comment.

"This is a rumour and we do not comment on speculation," Patni's chief financial officer, Surjeet Singh, said in a statement to Reuters.

Earlier this year Larsen failed in its attempt to acquire fraud-hit Satyam Computer, losing to Tech Mahindra who renamed it Mahindra Satyam.

VCCircle Adds: Private equity firm General Atlantic, which owns an 18% stake in Patni, has also put its stake for sale. It owns around 18% stake, for which it paid $100 million 2002.

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