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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2002

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German co invests Rs 47.5 cr in Usha Beltron

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KOLKATA, Oct. 22

DEG, a German investment and development company specialising in long-term project and corporate financing, has agreed to invest Rs 47.5 crore in Usha Beltron Ltd (UBL), the flagship company of the city-based Usha Martin group.

An agreement to this effect was recently signed in Cologne between Dr Windfield Polte, CEO of DEG, and Mr Prasant Jhawar, Vice-Chairman of UBL.

UBL, which is rated as one of the top five wire rope manufacturing companies in the world, is setting up a 100,000 tonne per annum project at Jamshedpur in Jharkhand to manufacture Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) and a 7.5 MW capacity co-generation power plant.

Investment by DEG, according to a UBL press note, is in the form of a loan with an 8-year maturity period and is being offered at a rate equivalent to Euribor plus 2.75 per cent. UBL will utilise the proceeds to part-finance its DRI, power and other value-added products and projects. Incidentally, last month, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Washington, invested Rs 120.5 crore in UBL. Of the total amount, Rs 17.5 crore had been in the form of equity, while the remaining amount was extended as a loan to the company.

However, Mr Jhawar was quoted by the UBL source as saying that the company had been endeavouring to be globally competitive through customer orientation and excellence in quality, innovation and technology, while retaining its market leadership in India.

During the first quarter of the current financial year, UBL posted a net profit of Rs 2.6 crore on a turnover of Rs 188 crore, representing a growth of 6.7 per cent and 7.7 per cent, respectively, compared with the corresponding quarter last year. It has manufacturing facilities at Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Silvasa and Bangalore, as also in the UK and Thailand. It has distribution, service and marketing network spread across the US, the UK, Europe, Africa and West Asia and Far East Asia.

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