Satyam bidders concerned over Upaid case

Written by Rachana Khanzode | Mumbai | Updated: Mar 14 2009, 03:46am hrs
Potential bidders of the beleaguered IT firm Satyam Computer Services are now trying to dig deeper into the liabilities coming from UK-based mobile solutions company Upaid System that is fighting a legal battle with the former. Upaid had filed a lawsuit in Texas court in 2007 for fraud and forgery against Satyam claiming damages worth $1 billion.

Simon Joyce, CEO, Upaid, said, Bidders of Satyam are concerned about the immediate liability coming from Upaid because the next hearing for the Upaid case against Satyam in Texas is on 1 June 2009. More than one expected bidder for Satyam has approached us to get clarity and understanding the basis of the liabilities it has towards Upaid. We have a legitimate interest in the outcome of this bidding process because whosoever may be the owner, our liability continues.

The prosecution of the consolidated US lawsuits against Satyam will take at least three years or so and therefore the immediate concern for bidders is the Upaid case which is now in the final stages, said Joyce. He further added, If we have a bonafide with the bidder seeking any information about Satyam, we will be ready to help. But the firm needs to be a serious bidder. Without disclosing the names of these bidders Joyce said that any company bidding for Satyam, would have to be a large company, considering the legal liabilities it will have to undertake.

The firm is also open for an out of court settlement with the new bidder. We are open for an out of court settlement post a series of serious discussions with the new investor. With the large number of liabilities around Satyam, we feel such a step will help the new investor, Joyce said.

Satyam, that will complete its first step of the bidding process on Thursday, is also facing about a dozen of lawsuits in the US.

Various reports have indicated that the estimated figure for liabilities that the company could face in the form of class action lawsuits in the US could run into hundreds of millions of dollars. Usually, if a US court decides on who bears the liabilities for the scam, the burden will fall on the company, its promoters and auditors. In case the promoters are proven to be bankrupt, the liabilities will have to be split between the company and the auditors.

Upaid has alleged that Satyam provided it forged documents in patents filing that eventually resulted in the company losing its patents infringement case against telecom giants Qualcomm and Verizon. Upaid has also said that it will go back and file a claim for increased damages with Satyam on 1 May 2009 that will be around $1-2 billion.

Rafting battle

Lawsuit filed in Texas court in 2007 for fraud and forgery against Satyam claiming damages worth $1 billion

Upaid willing for out-of-court settlement

Satyam bidders concerned over immediate liability from Upaid coz Upaid-Satyam case hearing is on 1 June 09

Satyam also faces about a dozen of lawsuits in the US