AT&T Sells 7% Stake in Satyam Owner Tech Mahindra a Month After Purchase

AT&T Inc., the biggest U.S. phone company, sold a 7 percent stake in Tech Mahindra Ltd., which controls India’s Satyam Computer Services Ltd., after exercising an option to buy 8 percent last month.

AT&T raised 6.6 billion rupees ($147 million) selling shares in Tech Mahindra for 762.4 rupees apiece, according to Bloomberg data. Citigroup Inc. advised AT&T on the stock sale.

The phone company exercised an option to acquire Tech Mahindra shares by purchasing an 8.07 percent stake in the Indian software developer. AT&T had the option to buy about 9.9 million shares before July 31 or when fees AT&T, a customer, paid to the software developer reached a certain level, according to the Pune, India-based company’s initial share sale document in 2006.

AT&T paid 8.98 billion rupees ($34.5 million) for the stake, Press Trust of India reported on March 23. The Dallas, Texas- based company purchased a total of 9.87 million shares in an “off-market transaction,” Tech Mahindra said last month, without disclosing the sale price. Mahindra BT Investment Co. owned the shares, according to the sale document.

Tech Mahindra, which is partly owned by BT Group Plc, won control of Satyam at an auction last year. A state-appointed board sold the Hyderabad-based computer-services company at the center of India’s biggest corporate fraud investigation to prevent clients and employees from defecting.

Tech Mahindra shares fell 4 percent to 772 rupees at 1:45 p.m. in Mumbai trading, while the benchmark Sensitive Index slid 1.3 percent. The stock has declined 22 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pooja Thakur in Mumbai at pthakur@bloomberg.net

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