Phaneesh Murthy appointed CEO of Patni

Both iGATE and Patni would continue to exist as separate listed entities and would work together on an integration exercise with the advice of professional consultants and advisors, iGATE said in a statement

Bangalore: iGATE today announced the successful completion of the Patni acquisition and appointment of Phaneesh Murthy as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Patni Computer Systems. Consequently, Jeya Kumar has stepped down as the CEO of Patni, reports PTI.

iGATE had entered into purchase agreements on 10th January this year to acquire a majority stake in Patni Computers. The transaction marks the completion with the buyout of the principal stockholders, Narendra Patni, Ashok Patni, Gajendra Patni and General Atlantic, and 20% Mandatory Tender Offer (MTO) to the public shareholders.

The MTO was fully subscribed giving iGATE a majority stake of approximately 83% in Patni Computer Systems.

Both iGATE and Patni would continue to exist as separate listed entities and would work together on an integration exercise with the advice of professional consultants and advisors, iGATE said in a statement here today.

"The two companies will operate on an independent basis and in the best interests of their respective stakeholders with a view to building value for both sets of shareholders," it said.

As a consequence of the acquisition, the board at Patni has been reconstituted. Jai Pathak will be board chairman, Phaneesh Murthy the CEO. Shashank Singh, co-head of Apax India and G'ran Lindahl, member of iGATE board are the new directors with existing members Vimal Bhandari and Arun Duggal continuing as independent directors.

Surjeet Singh, CFO, Patni, would continue in office until 31 May 2011 and then step down when the board expects to appoint a new financial officer.

Announcing the acquisition, Phaneesh Murthy said, "Successful completion of the transaction was our single focus over the last four months and I am very excited to formally move from integration planning to integration execution between the two companies."

"Our intent is to generate synergies out of the integration and, with iGATE's differentiated iTOPS-based Business Outcomes model coupled with Patni's micro-vertical focus, deliver value to our customers," he added.

"We believe there are a number of cross selling opportunities across 360 clients of iGATE and Patni and will focus on improving service levels and deepening our engagement with existing clients.

The initial feedback from customers has been very encouraging. In the next three years, our goal is to become leader by capability in two verticals and a significant player in at least three to four other verticals," Mr Murthy said.

According to the new CEO, the company would significantly expand its market presence and, pursuant to its integration programme, go to the marketplace with a common identity called iGATE Patni.

"Under a new logo, iGATE Patni will stand for the combined value of both organisations," he said.

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Supreme Court dismisses appeal filed by Harshad Mehta's mother, sister-in-law

The dismissal of petitions filed by Harshad Mehta's mother Rasila Mehta and sister-in-law Rina Mehta may result in banks and financial institutions receiving an additional Rs800 crore to Rs1,000 crore

The Supreme Court has upheld notifications issued by the Custodian against stockbroker Harshad Mehta's mother Rasila S Mehta and his sister-in-law Rina S Mehta for their involvement in the securities scam of 1992. This decision may result in additional distribution of about Rs800 crore to Rs1,000 crore to banks and financial institutions who are creditors of the Harshad Mehta group.

In March, the office of the Custodian—that operates from Mumbai—released about Rs2,194.9 crore from Harshad Mehta's assets to the State Bank of India (SBI) and the Income-Tax (I-T) department.

Following the apex court's decision, the Custodian is likely to liquidate the assets of the Harshad Mehta group, including shares and immovable properties, apart from cash and fixed deposits.

The judgment of the Supreme Court, delivered by a bench consisting of Justice P Sathasivam and Justice BS Chauhan, laid down clear judicial precepts in ruling that the notifications carried out by the Custodian, which came several years after the securities scam, without any pre-decisional hearing, were not violative of the principles of natural justice.

According to a statement by the Custodian, “The Court said that in construing a statute of this nature, the courts should not adhere to a literal meaning, but construe the same, keeping in view the larger public interest.”

During the hearing, the Custodian argued that the income of these women had risen from near-nil levels to tens and hundreds of crores of rupees, in a short period, without any asset base, through transactions involving huge amounts of money sourced from Harshad Mehta.

With this additional amount, nearly all the principal liabilities of the Harshad Mehta Group towards taxes, banks and financial institutions, are expected to be met.

Harshad Mehta, who died of a heart attack in Mumbai in December 2001, faced allegations of diverting huge amounts of public money to the securities market. The Joint Parliamentary Committee set up to investigate into the 1992 scam had estimated the quantum of the scam at approximately Rs4,400 crore.

Last year, the Bhupen Dalal family agreed to pay Rs12.6 crore to buy back their flat in an auction, against the market value of about Rs9 crore. The Special Court had allowed the auction of the flat at Chitrakoot building, on Altamount Road, in south Mumbai, to recover income-tax dues running into crores of rupees.

You may also want to read:

Custodian releases Rs2,195 crore to I-T dept, SBI from Harshad Mehta's assets

Bhupen Dalal's family buys back flat in auction paying huge premium

Special Court re-orders sale of Harshad Mehta's flats in 'Madhuli'

Apex court asks special court to assess Harshad Mehta property

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MHADA plans 20,000 affordable apartments in partnership with private builders

Maharashtra housing secretary says notification for this project to be finalised by July. However, nothing appears to have happened on the MoU, signed last year with MCHI, for five lakh houses in five years

The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) will, in partnership with private builders, supply 20,000 affordable apartments in the next few years, Gautam Chatterjee, state housing secretary and former vice-chairman MHADA, said today.

"MHADA will cooperate with private developers and offer the government's share of FSI to them. The builders, in turn, will hand over the constructed units to MHADA, which will be made available to people at rates much lower than the current price quoted by builders," Mr Chatterjee said at a conference on affordable housing, organised by the Mumbai Press Club.

The preliminary notification for this has already been issued in the ministry and will be finalised by July, he said. Sixty per cent of this housing stock will be for the weaker sections. This year, MHADA has supplied some 4,000 houses at highly subsidised rates.

This announcement comes at a time when MHADA is facing an acute land crunch, and land acquisition moves in various parts of the country have seen stiff opposition.

Dharmesh Jain, vice-president, Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry (MCHI), expressed his support for the scheme. "We welcome the move, and we appreciate that MHADA is looking innovatively at FSI management. Mumbai being an island city, the only option is to expand vertically. For that, we must rethink the concept of FSI," Mr Jain said.

MCHI signed a memorandum of understanding with the state government last year to provide about five lakh affordable houses in the next five years, but there has been no progress on this to date. Mr Jain, like most other builders, blamed this on administrative delays and the lengthy process for getting clearances. But this does not explain why also more than 88,000 flats remain unsold in the city. (This is an estimate according to realty research firm Liases Foras.)

Activist Ms Neera Adharkar, who attended the conference, said it was necessary to focus on the concept of 'affordable housing'. "Is there really any affordable housing scheme? When more FSI is granted, buildings will grow taller, and the population density in the area will increase. Automatically, affordability will come down. Builders view affordability in terms of apartment size and not price," she said.

Mr Chatterjee pointed out that skyrocketing prices could be reined in only if supply increases or the government intervenes. "There are two types of houses that we build: ones that are cheap and mostly for slum redevelopment, and the others which will cross subsidise the former. We need to supply a third kind of stock, which will be accessible to commoners. For that, either the government has to intervene, or the supply has to be increased, to exert downward pressure on existing prices," he said.

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