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By | Kelly Fiveash 2nd March 2009 11:33

Satyam sale possible before probe ends

'Ere, wanna buy a scandalous IT firm?

Troubled Indian outsourcer Satyam is asking for formal bids from potential buyers before the final details of its fraud investigation are known.

The company, which is the country’s fourth largest outsourcing outfit, wants to invite bids for a potential sale of its business as soon as regulatory approvals are completed.

“While the accounts restatement in a formal sense and the audit is going to take a long time, the clarity with regard to the real situation [of the firm’s business] is fairly clear,” Satyam chairman Kiran Karnik told the Financial Times.

However, getting the accounts restated could take months, and the company additionally faces a handful of lawsuits in the US which could stall any potential sell-off.

According to reports one law firm has been threatening to seek an injunction against any sale of Hyderabad-based Satyam until the cases are resolved.

In early January Satyam’s founder and chairman B Ramalinga Raju resigned and made an extraordinary confession to investors in which he admitted he had fiddled the firm’s accounts for years in order to inflate profits by about $1bn.

Last month the company's board of directors appointed new CEO A S Murty as Raju's replacement. ®

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