Government-appointed Satyam Computers Services Ltd's board has extended the deadline for submitting financial bids to April 13 from April 9 to give more time for due diligence and due to the bidders seeking additional information, media reports said.

Kiran Karnik, Chairman reportedly said the winners would be announced the same day.

It is reported that Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Tech Mahindra, Wilbur Ross and Cognizant Technology Solutions have reached the final lap in the race to buy a 51% stake in Satyam and inked non-disclosure agreements, a pre-requisite for due diligence, on the assets and liabilities of Satyam, the release said.

Apax Partners, private equity firm that had expressed interest in Satyam, has pulled out of the race, while BK Modi-promoted Spice Group that has expressed interest through its Spice Innovative Technologies Ltd. backed out on the grounds that the bidding process lacks transparency. The company wanted an open auction instead of tenders through sealed envelopes and was insisting on the disclosure of the identities of all the shortlisted bidders. B.K Modi, Chairman of the Spice Group said he would write to the Company Law Board (CLB) and the former Supreme Court justice S.P. Barucha, who is supervising the bidding process. Two other entities, Hinduja Group and iGate Corp. also backed out.

Mystery still surrounds the intentions of IBM Global Services, one of the world's largest IT services firms, which had registered its interest through an US-based law firm representing it. According to a person familiar with the development, bidders need to disclose the identity of their partners while putting in their technical bids. Financial bids will be opened only, if the bidder qualifies on technical grounds.

On Thursday, Satyam said it had modified the bidding process to introduce a second-round open auction to find a new owner, if it receives bids that are within 90% of what the highest bidder quotes.

In another development, Satyam, in the process of restating its accounts, has sought the CLB's approval to publish its third-quarter results. The company wrote to the CLB on Q3 results and are awaiting their response, a company spokesperson said.

The restatement of Satyam's accounts is expected to come in July. A 30-member team from Chennai-based Brahmaiah and Co., appointed as internal auditor, is going through its accounts in Hyderabad. Two foreign auditing firms, KPMG and Deloitte, have also been mandated by the Satyam board to scrutinize the firm's books of accounts. The auditors have been asked to scrutinize the company's accounts from 2002.

At the BSE, Satyam shares are currently trading at Rs.43.60, up by Rs.3.70 or 9.27% on a volume of 43.61 lakh shares. The company's scrip touched an intraday high of Rs.44.30 and an intrady low of Rs.41.25.

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