Satyam’s billion dollar asathyam

If you thought that Raju’s stepping down would lead to institutional shareholders taking more responsibility, you could not be farther from the truth. Major shareholders such as Aberdeen Asset Management, Fidelity Investment, Morgan Stanley Mauritius and Swiss Finance Corporation together have offloaded Satyam shares worth Rs 280 crore in open market transactions on Wednesday.
Aberdeen Asset Managers, which held 5.12% stake representing 3.5 crore shares in Satyam, has in four separate bulk deals offloaded the entire tranche on Wednesday. This netted the UK-based investment company around Rs 152 crore as it sold 2.3 crore shares at Rs 41.82 apiece and another 1.2 crore shares at Rs 43.41-a-share, data from stock exchanges show. Aberdeen Asset Management was tipped to be in a controlling position with an equity
holding, which was more than the shareholding of the promoter group. But that will not be as Aberdeen has virtually washed its hands off the company. Aberdeen did not respond to ToI when contacted over e-mail.
Other influential shareholders also chose to offload Satyam stock, perhaps indicating that they had enough of controversies. Fidelity Investment, which
held 3.42% stake, sold off 0.6% stake for Rs 44 crore at a higher price of Rs 108.96 per share. Similarly, Morgan Stanley, which held 1% stake in Satyam, also offloaded substantial portion of its holding for Rs 33 crore, data shows. Lastly, Swiss Finance Corporation - which held another 1% in the now beleaguered tech firm – has also sold off around 0.9% stake, in the process getting Rs 51 crore for selling 59 lakh shares at Rs 86 apiece.
With major institutional shareholders on their way out of the Satyam counter, the focus now turns to insurance companies such ICICI Prudential, Life Insurance Company and other FIIs such as Government of Singapore, J P Morgan and Lazard Asset Management. An ICICI spokesperson said: It is paramount for us to protect the interests of our stakeholders, and we are evaluating all possible options along with other institutional shareholders to maximise the value for our stakeholders.”