India's fraud-hit Satyam Computer Services wants to offer no more than 31 percent in new shares to a strategic investor, the Mint newspaper reported on Friday, citing a company source familiar with the matter.

The Mint said Satyam's board wanted the winning bidder to buy a further 20 percent through a mandatory offer. The company would consider another preferential allotment of new shares only if the bidder failed to get the 20 percent, it said.

The intention is to provide an exit route to the company's minority shareholders through the open offer, the newspaper quoted a company executive as saying.

The Mint said Satyam Chairman Kiran Karnik refused to comment on the report. A Satyam spokeswoman reached by Reuters declined to comment on the report on Friday.

Satyam's suitors include India's top engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro , which already owns 12 percent, the Hinduja Group and Spice Group.

The Economic Times said Satyam's board decided to allow private equity firms to also bid, moving away from an earlier plan that insisted on bidders having experience in information technology. The paper cited a source with knowledge of the development.

We have decided to open the window further by allowing firms with managerial experience in the non-IT sector, the newspaper quoted the source as saying. Standalone PE firms will not be allowed to bid, but a PE player can make a joint bid with a partner.

Satyam's chairman had said on Tuesday the company hoped to invite expressions of interest from potential bidders by the end of the week.

Goldman Sachs and Indian investment bank Avendus Advisors are advising Satyam in its search for a strategic investor.

(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan and Anshuman Daga)