Enthused by the acquisition of majority stake in a US-based company, which quadrupled its turnover in three years, the Gujarat-based INOX India Ltd plans to acquire a European company this year for $20 million (Rs 100 crore), a company official said.

In 2009, INOX India, the country’s largest cryogenic engineering company, had acquired majority stake (51 per cent) in the US-based Cryogenic Vessel Alternatives (CVA), the world’s largest manufacturer of transportation equipment, for about $25 million (Rs 120 crore). Since then, INOX India’s turnover has quadrupled from Rs 250 crore in 2008-09 to around Rs 1,000 crore now.

Brazil facility

INOXCVA, part of the $2-billion diversified INOX Group of companies, will also invest nearly Rs 60 crore in 2012 in augmenting capacities of its Brazil facility, Mr Parag P. Kulkarni, Director and CEO, told Business Line here.

At present, INOXCVA has manufacturing facilities in five countries (Canada, the USA, Brazil, India and China), with a client-base spread over 100 countries. The possible European acquisition would mark its presence in all the major continents where it has business interests.

India investment

In India, where INOX India has three manufacturing facilities at Kalol (near Vadodara), Silvassa and Gandhidham (Kandla), it has already invested nearly Rs 100 crore after the CVA acquisition and expanded its US-based manpower from 120 to 600. Now, it is investing another Rs 50 crore this year in the Indian facilities, Mr Kulkarni said.

As part of its cryogenic solutions business, INOX is now focusing on providing a link between the two existing LNG terminals in Gujarat (Dahej and Hazira) and industries requiring this gas as fuel even in the absence of gas pipelines for gas transportation. INOX already has seven such customers of “virtual pipeline” (mobile LNG facility) in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, he said.

With the emergence of new LNG terminals at Mundra (Gujarat), Kochi (Kerala), Ennore (TN) and Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh) in the near future, the company is planning a wider domestic presence to provide a virtual pipeline to the industries in the States having no gas pipelines so far. It will do so by providing cryogenic storage tanks and transportation facilities.

“However, INOX will be providing these solutions within a radius of 500 km around the LNG terminals, beyond which the transportation costs would make the business unviable," Mr Kulkarni said.

(This article was published on January 30, 2012)
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