The total soda ash production capacity of the combined entity will now be close to three million tonnes per annum

Our Bureau

Mumbai, Dec. 23

TATA Chemicals Ltd (TCL) said it has signed definitive agreements for acquiring a controlling stake in the UK-based Brunner Mond Group (BM). The move will cost the Indian company Rs 508 crore for a 63.5 per cent equity stake.

TCL signed agreements for the purpose with Wayland Investments Ltd and Barclays Bank, both selling shareholders of BM. With this, TCL becomes one of the leading producers of soda ash in the world.

BM manufactures soda ash and sodium bicarbonate. It has manufacturing facilities in the UK, the Netherlands and Kenya. The deal will add to TCL over 1,000 employees across Africa and Europe.

The total soda ash production capacity of the combined entity will now be close to three million tonnes per annum, TCL's statement said.

"The combined entity of Brunner Mond and Tata Chemicals will now propel us further to greater strengths in technology, customer relationships and cost leadership. Furthermore, it will consolidate our position as a leading manufacturer of soda ash in the world," Mr Prasad Menon, Managing Director, TCL, said.

TCL had first informed the stock exchange of its interest in Brunner Mond on November 25, when it disclosed two separate agreements entered into for acquiring a majority stake in the British company. No further details were given then except that the investment may be made directly or through a subsidiary/associate of the company.

Shares of Tata Chemicals moved up by Rs 2.30 to Rs 221.85 on BSE.

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(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 24, 2005)
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