7 Jan : Satyam Computer plunged into a deep crisis on Wednesday, as B Ramalinga Raju resigned as its Chairman after admitting to major financial wrong-doings and saying his last-ditch efforts to fill the "fictitious assets with real ones" through Maytas acquisition failed.
The beleaguered IT giant, already under scanner over the aborted acquisition of firms promoted by the Chairman’s family, received a rude shock days ahead of its 10th January board meeting, with Raju stepping down along with his brother and Managing Director B Rama Raju.
"It was like riding a tiger, not knowing how to get off without being eaten," Ramalinga Raju said in a letter to Satyam’s board of directors, wherein he listed major financial wrong-doings over the years to inflate the profits.
Listed at New York Stock Exchange, the company could face regulatory action in the US, analysts said.While Raju recommended DSP Merrill Lynch be entrusted the task of "quickly exploring some merger opportunities," the company informed the stock exchanges that the investment banker has terminated its engagement with Satyam.
Noting that every attempt to eliminate gaps in balance sheet, purely on account of inflated profits over several years, failed, Raju said: "I am now prepared to subject myself to the laws of the land and face consequences thereof."
Low percentage of promoter equity in the company, where four independent directors resigned in the last two weeks over the acquisition fiasco, could lead to a takeover and expose the gap, he said in the letter, also sent to regulator SEBI.
The promoters’ share in Satyam has now dipped to just over 3 per cent that too is pledged with lenders.
Shares of Satyam plunged by over 40 per cent immediately after the announcement of resignations, necessitating an overhaul of the Board and management.