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SOA World: BT Venture Buys Control of Satyam for a Song
$580 million is not much for a company that was valued at $7 billion a year ago

Tech Mahinda, an Indian outsourcing firm 31% owned by BT, has won the auction for 51% of the scandal-rocked Satyam Computer Services for a mere $580 million, not much for a company that was valued at $7 billion a year ago.

Tech Mahinda offered $1.16 (58 rupees) a share, a 23% premium; the runner-up, Larsen & Toubro, which already owns 12% of Satyam, bid 92 cents (46 rupees) a share. Number three, Wilbur Ross & Company, the American private equity firm, bid a mere 40 cents (20 rupees) a share.

Once approved by authorities, Tech Mahinda will pay Satyam $351 million for preferred shares equal to 31% of the company and buy the rest on the open market.

The liabilities it's taking on are still unclear given the shareholder suits that have been filed. Auditors are still working on restating Satyam's books for the last five years.

It is also unclear whether Tech Mahnida can hold Satyam's blue chip clients.

Tech Mahnida, which does about $775 million a year, mostly out of Europe, specializes in telecommunications. It plans to raise money by selling about $120 million worth of bonds.

Together with Satyam, whose money comes mostly from the states, it will have 73,000 employees and should be able to compete against the other Indian outsourcers Wipro, Tata and Infosys.

Meanwhile, the former Satyam officials and PricewaterhouseCoopers auditors charged with the vast fraud that nearly destroyed the company are expected to go on trial for criminal conspiracy, forgery, falsifying accounts, cheating and causing evidence to disappear. 

About Maureen O'Gara
Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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