Car­lyle to stay in Patni bid­ding con­tention

The Pak Banker - - Company& -

MUM­BAI: Car­lyle Group bid on its own to buy con­trol of Patni Com­puter Sys­tems Ltd. and didn't make an of­fer with Ad­vent In­ter­na­tional Corp., said a per­son with di­rect knowl­edge of the trans­ac­tion.

Car­lyle, the world's sec­ond-largest buy­out firm, had pre­vi­ously been work­ing with Ad­vent to ac­quire the 45.9 per­cent stake held by Patni's found­ing fam­ily as well as a stake held by Gen­eral At­lantic LLC, said the per­son, who de­clined to be iden­ti­fied be­cause the mat­ter is pri­vate. Ad­vent wanted to of­fer a lower price for the In­dian soft­ware com­pany, so Car­lyle de­cided to go alone with its bid, the per­son said.

For­mer TPG Cap­i­tal part­ner Vivek Paul is ad­vis­ing Car­lyle and may join Patni's board if its bid wins, the per­son said. Christo­pher Ull­man, a Car­lyle spokesman, de­clined to com­ment. Naren­dra Patni, chair­man at the In­dian com­puter-ser­vices provider, didn't re­spond to an e-mail and a call to his Mum­bai of­fice af­ter of­fice hours. Pa­tri­cia Hed­ley, a spokes­woman for Gen­eral At­lantic, and Louisa Feltes, an ex­ter­nal spokes­woman for Ad­vent, didn't re­spond to emails. A con­trol­ling stake in Patni would al­low the win­ning bid­der tap the re­cov­er­ing mar­ket for out­sourced technology ser­vices, an in­dus­try that For­rester Re­search Inc. es­ti­mates will grow 7.6 per­cent to $253 bil­lion next year af­ter ris- ing 2.7 per­cent in 2010.

The sale would al­low 68year-old Patni and his fam­ily to exit the com­pany as de­mand for com­puter ser­vices helped the stock more than dou­ble since its ini­tial pub­lic of­fer­ing six years ago.

Patni shares jumped 2 per­cent yes­ter­day in Mum­bai to 490 ru­pees, tak­ing the year-to­date gains to 14 per­cent.

Car­lyle is com­pet­ing with Apax Part­ners LLP and IGate Corp., which are jointly bid­ding for the stake, three peo­ple said on Dec 15. The man­age­ment of Patni has been spend­ing more time with the Apax group, two other peo­ple said.

A fi­nal de­ci­sion may come by early next week, they said. IGate Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Pha­neesh Murthy and Ben­jamin Hard­ing, a Lon­don­based spokesman for Apax, didn't re­spond to e-mails seek­ing com­ment.

The Eco­nomic Times, cit­ing peo­ple it didn't iden­tify, re­ported yes­ter­day that IGate is set to win the Patni stake af­ter Ad­vent backed out. Gen­eral At­lantic held a 2.1 per­cent stake in Patni through the com­pany's Mum­bai-traded shares, as of Sept. 30, and a 15.4 per­cent stake through its hold­ings in its Amer­i­can de­posi­tary re­ceipts, ac­cord­ing to data posted on the Bom­bay Stock Ex­change's web­site. Patni, founded in 1978, pre­pares cus­tom­ized soft­ware and main­tains com­puter sys­tems for 280 cus­tomers in 38 coun­tries. -Bloomberg

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