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Mahindra ‘Won’t Shy Away’ From Software Acquisitions

Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. “won’t shy away” from acquiring information technology companies to strengthen its software business, Vice Chairman Anand Mahindra said in an interview with Bloomberg UTV today.

India’s largest maker of sport-utility vehicles may also consider setting up an assembly unit in South Africa, he said, without giving a timeframe.

Tech Mahindra Ltd., a software company controlled by Mahindra & Mahindra, bought Satyam Computer Services Ltd., the software exporter embroiled in India’s biggest corporate fraud probe, from the government last year. Satyam’s former Chairman Ramalinga Raju disclosed in January 2009 that he overstated company assets by more than $1 billion. Anand Mahindra at the time called the purchase a “very calculated risk.”

Tech Mahindra, which owns 42.6 percent of Satyam, fell 0.4 percent to 764.60 rupees in Mumbai trading today. The stock has declined 19 percent in the past year, compared with a 21 percent gain in the benchmark Sensitive Index.

Tech Mahindra plans to seek business in Africa, Anand Mahindra said today.

The company, based in Pune, India, is in talks for several contracts, each valued at more than $10 million, in Africa, Krishna Gopal, vice president for Middle East, Africa and South Asia sales, said in an Aug. 6 interview. Sales from the region may reach about $45 million in the year to March as demand for technology services from mobile-phone companies increases, Gopal said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vipin Nair in Mumbai at vnair12@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Arijit Ghosh at aghosh@bloomberg.net

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