Satyam seeks new extension to file financial results

The company’s results were ordered to be restated after a scandal at the company

Indian outsourcer Satyam Computer Services informed the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday that it has applied to India's Company Law Board (CLB), seeking an extension to Sept. 30 for filing its 2008 and 2009 financial results.

In October the CLB extended the filing deadline to June 30.

Satyam entered a financial crisis last January after its former chairman and founder, B. Ramalinga Raju, disclosed that the company's revenue and profits had been inflated for several years. A board appointed by the Indian government ordered the company's accounts be restated, and also invited bids to select a strategic investor for the company.

Another Indian outsourcer, Tech Mahindra, acquired a 43 percent stake in the company last year.

India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and other government agencies are investigating the role of Raju and others in the fraudulent accounting.

Analysts and a key investor have concerns over Satyam's frequent filing delays. The investor threatened to pull out from the company earlier this year, citing a lack of information on financials and other performance indicators.

Hari Thalapalli, Satyam's chief marketing officer, said on Monday that the company has delayed filing its financial results because a court order limits its access to the financial data, which is in the CBI's custody. "The auditors require all kinds of data validation, and our access to the data is not unfettered," he said.

The filing delay will not impact Satyam's business with current customers but it may delay the return of some customers the company lost during the crisis, Thalapalli said.

It would help customers if the new management had released at least some indications of operating performance for the period after it took charge at the company, Sudin Apte, a principal analyst at Forrester Research, said last month.

Satyam is however not able to disclose even summary data in the interim because it is in a "silent period," Thalapalli said. The data would also be invalid in the absence of definitive opening and closing balances, he added.

In its filing on Monday, Satyam said it has also asked the CLB to exempt the company from publishing quarterly financial results, applicable from the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2008, to the quarter ended March 31, 2010.

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John Ribeiro

IDG News Service

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