Satyam board to discuss dilution of stake

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HYDERABAD: B Ramalinga Raju, Chairman and Founder of Satyam Computer Services, has pledged his shares with institutional lenders to raise loans but has failed to redeem them, forcing him to dilute his stake in the company, said a source privy to the developments.

The promoter and his family hold 8.61% stake in the company. “The promoter has mortgaged his shares to institutional lenders who may have sold them by now”, said the source.

The Satyam board will now meet on January 10 to discuss a possible dilution of the promoters stake. The promoter and his family hold an 8.5% stake in the company.

The board, which has come under pressure poor corporate governance, will also be recast and expanded.

The company has appointed DSP Merill Lynch to “conduct a review of the strategic options to enhance shareholder value”, according to a statement issued here on Sunday.

“Satyam’s Board of Directors recognizes the serious nature of certain questions raised by the events of the last two weeks,” said B. Ramalinga Raju, Chairman and Founder of Satyam.

“In order to ensure that these questions are properly addressed, and that the interests of stakeholders are fully and carefully considered, Satyam has decided to broaden the scope of its deliberations beyond a possible buy-back of its stock.”

The board was earlier scheduled to meet on Monday.

But academician Mangalam Srinivasan resigned as an independent board member on December 25 as furious investors questioned the propriety of using the software company’s cash reserves to buy real estate and infrastructure companies linked to Mr Raju. This has put pressure on other members to follow her example.

An independent board member T R Prasad had earlier said the board had only given an in principle nod to the buy-back of shares.


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