Textbook corporate finance theory says that when a going concern takes over an ailing or bankrupt company (with low or zero or negative value), it does so in expectation that the net value of the combined entity shall, at least in due course, exceed the present value of the successful buyer.
The most peculiar aspect of the Satyam auction process has been the delay and obfuscation that greeted attempts by potential buyers to ascertain the extent of its liabilities (many of which may be contingent liabilities depending on the outcomes of American class-action suits.) Even so, Satyam appears to have been taken over. Caveat emptor! may be all that needs to be said. We are like this only.