Raju attempted to bid for Satyam
The revelation that Raju featured in the initial list of 141 suitors is believed to be made by TN Manoharan, a government-nominated member on the Satyam board and former Chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) at a conference of the Southern India Regional Council of the regulatory body.
The norms of taking over Satyam were made private to the bidders who expressed an interest in Satyam, specified such as a three-year-lock-in for a strategic investor and a ban on asset stripping for two years, among other things. The bidders were not given any access to the 'virtual data room' including the financial position as well as assets and liabilities of the company.
Bidders included names like engineering firm L&T, investor Wilbur Ross, IT services firm Tech Mahindra, BK Modi-promoted Spice Group and IT services firm Cognizant Technologies.
TN Manoharan and C Achutan, former Presiding Officer of the Securities and Appellate Tribunal, are among the Mahindra Satyam's board members. "We are members in the audit committee and our main role is to oversee the compliance of takeover norms by the new owner," said Manoharan.
Manoharan informed that the council could consider making it compulsory for external auditors to do the internal audit for companies. Currently, only half of the top 500 companies have external auditors for their internal audits.
The role of auditors and independent directors came under suspicion after the Satyam scam. "The Satyam episode has marred the image of our profession, but onsite experience shows that we must have the courage of conviction to respond and say that an aberration cannot be used to tarnish our entire profession," he said.
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