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Wilbur Ross confirms being in fray for Satyam

Wilbur Ross confirms being in fray for Satyam

A total of four companies are now in fray for buying Satyam.

Wilbur Ross has confirmed exclusively to CNBC-TV18 that he is in the race for Satyam bringing the total tally, that is known, to four, that is L&T, Tech Mahindra, WL Ross and IBM.

Chairman and CEO WL Ross & Co, Wilbur Ross said, "We look at all the stress things that are of size in India. We have an operation in Mumbai and they are dedicated to doing that. I think Satyam is an interesting company but all companies in India require you to sign confidentialities so I can't really discuss it but somebody will end up with it."

Here is a verbatim transcript of Raja Rajeshwari's comments on CNBC-TV18. Also watch the accompanying video.

In an exclusive interview, Wilbur Ross has confirmed that he is looking at Satyam. He said that they are a distressed asset player and Satyam is one of the companies that they are looking at. So now that brings the total tally, that is known, to four starting with L&T, Tech Mahindra, WL Ross and IBM.

There were reports in the past few days that on Saturday WL Ross team had gone ahead and did the due diligence. Now there is an official comment on the scene that they have indeed done that. The general sense one gets talking to most industry sources is that WL Ross is not in case with any of the three parties but is on his own. The general sense you get talking to other veterans is that he could be looking at going on his own by putting together a professional team in place, or he could be looking at cutting a deal with another mid-sized company where the risk will be borne by WL Ross because they are a distressed asset player.

We need to remember that there are a lot of liabilities at stake. So they could essentially say that they could pick up the liabilities. The midsize company that comes will run the company and look at the business development. Going forward, at some future point, that company, if things go right, will look at guaranteed exit option to WL Ross.

This is the kind of sense one gets looking at most industry veterans. WL Ross has been investing and they were the first one in 2006 when he put USD 37 million in OCM India. The second one was in August 2008 when he put USD 100 million in SpiceJet.

So, he has a fair sense of how to do business in India. Thus, this could be one distressed Indian asset where he could be looking at. Also, we need to wait and watch what happens now as we gather from sources the data and due diligence room is open till April 4 and then onwards these interested parties should go ahead and put in their financial bids. In the mean time, the board will also sit and consider as to what feedback they have got and also take into cognizance the financial bids that will come in. We need to remember that there are a lot of liabilities at stake. So they could essentially say that they could pick up the liabilities. The midsize company that comes will run the company and look at the business development. Going forward, at some future point, that company, if things go right, will look at guaranteed exit option to WL Ross.

first published:April 02, 2009, 15:54 IST