Thursday, December 06, 2012


Satyam is an attractive buy, but Modi has to be careful about how he values his latest acquisition target

Spice Corp. is not the only one in the fray. Given the low valuations for Satyam, there have been many suitors. The most aggressive has been Larsen & Toubro (L&T), which has already increased its stake in the company to 12% from 4%. However, an analyst on conditions on anonymity cautions, “The cost of acquiring and restructuring Satyam in this time of liquidity crunch would be more than the worth of the business.” Ditto for other suitors like Tech Mahindra, iGate and Hinduja group. Not for Modi, who proudly proclaims, “We have some Rs.20 billion in the bank!” So Satyam needs Spice but is the reverse also true? Definitely, even a much subdued Satyam would be worth much, considering current valuations (a person investing Rs.100 in the company 1 year ago would see his investment drop in value to Rs.12.45 on February 3, 2009!).

However, Spice Innovations would have a lot of work to do. The latest controversy has already cost Satyam four major clients – Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline, a loss of some $200 million in topline. Fortunately, there are a few like GE still in Satyam’s kitty. Another obstacle would be that there is no top rung of management in the organisation at the moment and employees are facing a crisis of confidence. Modi counters, “We have a good leadership team and are confident that we would be able to steer the new company in the right direction.” Well, considering how his previous big ticket venture Spice Communications went into losses, one wonders if Modi’s cadres can really manage to rescue Satyam from crisis to conquest. Moreover, this is an acquisition where a critical element – that of brand goodwill – is virtually non-existent! Although Modi has the cash, he needs to be careful with regard to how he (over)values Satyam

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2012.
An Initiative of IIPMMalay Chaudhuri

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