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Tue 24 Feb 2009 01:56 PM

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Satyam ready to sell stake by end of week

Satyam hopes to have regulatory approval to seek offers from new stakeholders this week

Services giant Satyam Computer Services should be able to begin the process of selling a stake in its business this week, the company has reported.

Satyam is looking to open bidding for a stake of at least 26%, to help secure the company’s future after its former chairman revealed he had falsified accounts for years. The company has approval from the Indian Company Law Board for the sell off, but needs further regulatory approval.

Current chairman Kiran Karnik said that Satyam would be “ready to invite expressions of interest” this week. A number of companies have been linked to Satyam, including the Spice Corp conglomerate, engineering company Larsen & Toubro, the Hindujas Group and Fidelity.

Despite losing three-quarters of its market value since the fraud was revealed at the start of January, Satyam has been able to gain $250 million of new business and contract extensions in the same time period, and the company reports that it has only lost three major customers.

The Indian Central Bureau of Investigation’s Multi-Disciplinary Investigation Team (MDIT) began examining 80 case loads of files relating to the case on Monday, as the investigation ramps up. The files include documents and statements that have been gathered by Andhra Pradesh Police CID.

The CBI has now formally taken over the investigation, and filed a case against former chairman Ramalinga Raju, other directors and auditors of the company.

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