Tech Mahindra picks up Satyam Computers

Indian IT outsourcing company Tech Mahindra won an auction to buy Satyam Computer Services Ltd. Tech Mahindra picked up a 31 percent stake at 58 rupees per share -- a 23 percent premium to Satyam's last closing price. The bid edged Larsen & Toubro, widely seen as a front-runner, and private equity firm WL Ross & Co.

Britain's BT Group holds about 31 percent stake in Tech Mahindra and it will pay $351 million for 31 percent preferential allotment of new shares.

In Jan 2009, Satyam's founder and chairman shocked investors by saying profits had been overstated for years, and put in doubt the survival of a company once ranked as India's fourth-largest software services exporter.

Tech Mahindra, a unit of automobile maker Mahindra & Mahindra, will have to make open offer for a further 20 percent of Satyam at a minimum price of 58 rupees a shares, to have complete control over Satyam.

So Satyam is a buy, sell or hold ? It all depends on Tech Mahindra's management and how they are going to run the company. Existing shareholders could wait and hold for a couple of quarters before making a decision, since there a clarity on management level. Any fresh investments in the stock can be deferred.