Jayanta Mallick

Kolkata, Dec. 19

THE Rain group comprising Rain Calcining Ltd and Rain Commodities has struck a Rs 500-crore deal to buy a calcined coke outfit in the US.

According to the group sources, an announcement to this effect is likely to be made to the stock exchanges shortly.

Though no further information was available, sources pointed out that the group wants to retain the coking coal outfit in the US for serving the North American market.

The deal is understood to be leveraged on the strength of the group's cement assets. Rain Commodities has a cement unit with a rated capacity of 1.1 million tonnes per annum.

However, the cement business has been incurring losses for some time.

During the period between April 1, 2005 and September 30, 2005, Rain Commodities had reported a net loss of Rs 12.23 crore.

Rain Calcining, however, is a profit-making calcined coke manufacturer. Oxbow Carbon & Minerals LLC of the US holds 5 per cent stake in Rain Calcining as a foreign promoter.

Analysts say that it would have been logical to leverage the assets of the coking coal business of the group, which could have also brought in more synergy in operations.

"But as the group eventually wants to get out of the cement business in future, it may have opted for the current strategy," an industry analyst said.

The Rain Calcining stock today closed 2.27 per cent up at Rs 42.85 with a volume of 4.36 lakh shares on the BSE.

Rain Commodities also finished the day with a gain of 1.36 per cent at Rs 63.20 on a traded quantity of 33,215 shares on the BSE.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 20, 2005)
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