Page last updated at 09:38 GMT, Friday, 6 March 2009

Satyam approved to sell 51% stake

Satyam's office in Bangalore
Satyam is struggling as clients cancel contracts

Fraud-hit IT firm Satyam has been given the go-ahead to sell most of itself.

Indian financial authorities approved plans for the company to sell a 51% stake as it seeks to win back clients and restore customer confidence.

Reports suggest computing giant IBM and Indian engineering firm Larsen & Toubro are frontrunners for the stake.

Satyam has struggled since former boss Ramalinga Raju admitting inflating their assets by more than $1bn.

Shares in Satyam jumped 18% after the company's state-appointed board got approval to sell the majority holding.

Satyam lost more than 80% of its market value following Mr Raju's confession in January.

The auction for the stake will be global and potential buyers would need to have assets of at least $150m.

The buyer then would not be able to sell its stake for at least three years, Satyam said in a statement.

Satyam had been one the biggest players in the booming Indian IT software market, supplying back-office services to firms from around the world.

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