IBM, Accenture, Cap Gemini seen among suitors for Satyam
Group of IT services firms, including IBM, Accenture and Cap Gemini, could be suitors for Satyam Computer Services.
The fourth-biggest software exporter is facing a major shareholder rebellion on poor governance after it aborted bid to buy two firms linked to its promoter. Despite the recent developments, IT analysts reckon that the fourth-biggest software exporter is a good buy, as the India outsourcing story is intact. ���There is enough record of Satyam being out there with a good client list. Both Indian and non-Indian services companies could look at it,��� said Avinash Vashistha, CEO, Tholons, an advisory firm.
IBM, it is reckoned, has strong expertise across verticals. So, it is well positioned to leverage on its current strengths. An acquisition of a company like Satyam will further strengthen the Big Blues global services delivery capability. At present, IBM has over 73,000 employees in India, which includes Daksh ��� the BPO company it acquired a few years back. But an IBM spokesperson said: ���We do not comment on rumors or market speculation.��� ���The driver in the acquisition will be the ability to consolidate. A strategic buyer will look for management control, but acquiring 51% could be difficult. Someone merely looking at fulfilment (for a greater footprint in India) could do with a smaller stake and let the current management run the show. But this looks less likely at this point,��� said an IT services company honcho.
Besides global IT services firms, major private equity funds such as General Atlantic Partners (GAP) along with other PE players can look at picking up a stake in Satyam. ���GAP has stakes in Hexaware and a few other IT services companies in India and could look at a consolidated play,��� said an investment banker.
A dark horse could be the US headquartered Cognizant Technologies. A Satyam buy will help to build significant scale and bring it into the big league of IT players, according to market trackers. But company spokesperson said ���we cannot comment on market speculation���.
Institutional investors led by Aberdeen Asset Management, Fidelity and ICICI Prudential, who hold a 61% stake in Satyam, are closely monitoring what moves the Satyam brass would make to win back their confidence and restore the credibility of the company, after it aborted attempt to acquire Maytas Properties and Maytas Infra. Satyam shares have nearly halved in value after it first unveiled the Maytas acquisition plans, and institutional investors, who are deeply unhappy with the company���s management, are understood to have approached rival firms and buyout funds to sell their stakes and push for the takeover.