Monday, April 13, 2009

Satyam acquired by TechM: Analysis

TechM emerged today as the highest bidder for Satyam. While this is puts TechM in a new league, the question that must be asked is the following
  • Did TechM have an information advantage as there was one common member on the boards of both the companies? Now don't take me wrong, the information passed does not necessariy have to be explicit. Just the fact that the board member, who has a fudiciary responsibility to protect the interest of shareholders not stopped techM from bidding where it did means they had an advantage.
  • Had it not been the case, would it not have made more sense for L&T to have bid higher since it already has a 12% stake in the company?
If this is the case then TechM got satyam for a bargain and perhaps this explains the jump in price in TechM's shares.
IBM which was rumored to be bidding for Satyam was clearly never going to be in the race. It had the least to gain. Why should an IT player such as IBM take only a financial risk of class action suites. It already has access to customers and to offshoring (remember it already has 50K+ employees in India). Same for Cognizant (it therefore withrew at the 11th hour). Wilbur Ross (a financial player) was only going to to be interested in partnership with a strategic player and at cheaper valuations. In normal times it could have leveraged and may have been able to offer higher valuations. Then again, these are not normal times.

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