TIMELINE: Satyam chief quits, shares plunge

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The chairman of Satyam Computer Services, India’s 4th-biggest software services exporter, resigned on Wednesday, saying the company’s profits had been inflated over recent years, sending Satyam shares plunging more than 70 percent.

Following are recent key events at Satyam.

December 16 - Satyam announces plan to buy two building firms part-owned by the outsourcer’s founders for $1.6 billion. It does a rapid U-turn, killing the deal just 12 hours later following a 55 percent plunge in the company’s share price in hectic U.S. trading.

December 17 - Chairman B. Ramalinga Raju says the about-turn reflected negative investor reaction. Satyam shares continue to slide, falling by a third on concerns about corporate governance.

December 18 - Satyam board says will meet on December 29 to consider a share buyback in a bid to restore confidence.

December 23 - Satyam barred from business with the World Bank for eight years for providing Bank staff with “improper benefits.” Its shares fall another 14 percent to their lowest in more than 4- years.

December 24 - Satyam shares rally amid market talk the outsourcer may have become an attractive takeover prospect given the steep share price fall.

December 25 - Satyam says it asked the World Bank to withdraw “inappropriate” statements.

December 26 - Mangalam Srinivasan, an independent director, resigns.

December 28 - Satyam defers board meeting until January 10 to give itself time to consider options to shore up investor confidence.

December 29 - Three more directors quit, but Satyam shares rise on hopes for moves to improve shareholder value and corporate governance.

December 30 - Shares extend gains on talk of private equity interest and a management change. One of Satyam’s largest investors says it could sell its stake.

January 2 - Satyam says its founder’s stake fell by a third to 5.13 percent. Analysts say this means the company is a more attractive bid target.

January 5 - Satyam shares tumble 9 percent on concern that corporate governance issues could hit new business.

January 6 - Shares rise more than 7 percent on a newspaper report Satyam had been approached by smaller rivals Tech Mahindra for an all-share merger.

Compiled by Dhara Ranasinghe, Editing by Ian Geoghegan