So it all comes down to this ...

by Vault Consulting Editors | April 13, 2009

  • My Vault

After finding a lack of potential buyers to rescue it from the depths of corporate scandal and figurative public flogging, Satyam announced last week that it would leave its fate up to auction, which was held this morning. What a way to go.

The problem for buyers, as we've said here before, is that valuation of Satyam is a crap shoot at this point, with general uncertainty about its financials and legal liabilities. That said, it's also a great buy right now considering its fallen market value and A-list clientele. The companies in the running were Larsen & Toubro, which has a 12 percent stake in the company and was viewed by many analysts as the likely victor, Tech Mahindra, another Indian outsourcer, U.S. private equity firm WL Ross & Co., and IT services provider Cognizant Technology Solutions.

As Indian financial analyst Tarun Sisodia predicted prior to the auction, "I don't think the bidding will be intensive. If anything, the market would be disappointed by the outcome of the bidding. Bidders will be extremely cautious in going overboard given the lack of information."

Well, the verdict was announced this morning and … drumroll, please … The winner is Tech Mahindra, which, as an underdog, pulled off an impressive win. Tech Mahindra's consulting unit, Venturbay Consultants Pvt. Ltd., paid $352.6 million ($1.16 per share) for a 31 percent stake in Satyam. Once the deal is approved by the Company Law Board, word on the street is that within four days Tech Mahindra will make another offer to buy 20 percent more of Satyam's stock on the open market, which will make it a majority owner.

The win is a big one for Tech Mahindra; the firm serves the telecom industry (over half of its work is from client and majority owner British Telecom) with half of the headcount of Satyam. So the Satyam haul will certainly increase its girth and industry coverage bringing in clients from many new industries, giving a nice little boost to its overall industry profile.

Filed Under: Consulting

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