US firm picks up 51 pc stake in ICI's rubber chemicals biz

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Our Bureau

Kolkata, Jan 2

PMC International Inc, a New Jersey-based company, has taken over 51 per cent interest in the rubber chemicals business of ICI India Ltd, resulting in transfer of ICI's entire rubber chemicals business to a new joint venture company incorporated under the name and style of PMC Rubber Chemicals India Private Ltd.

Dr P.M. Chakrabarti, Chairman and President of PMC Group International, told newspersons on Monday that the group has acquired 51 per cent equity stake in the joint venture company for Rs 12.4 crore. The group will purchase the remaining 49 per cent equity stake from ICI India Ltd within two years at an estimated cost of Rs 8.8 crore, as per the terms of the business deal.

At a later stage, the joint venture company will enter the capital market with a public issue, said Dr Chakrabarti.

He also said that the group has acquired the business along with 202 permanent employees at the factory, located at Rishra, about 25 km from the city and financial liabilities to the tune of about Rs 19 crore.

This was ICI's profit-making business with current annual sales turnover of about Rs 106 crore (including export of about Rs 22 crore); the PMC Group is aiming to achieve a turnover of about 500 crore within six years. Refusing to specify the size of fresh investment towards modernisation and expansion of the factory, Dr Chakrabarti said that there would be no dearth of funds for this purpose. His group is looking for more acquisitions of the running chemicals business.

He said that negotiations are on an advanced stage at least for two companies in the west coast of India.

Apart from this, he is negotiating with the West Bengal Government for setting up a downstream petrochemicals project at Haldia.

The joint venture, which is the first investment of PMC Group in India, would protect the long-term interest of the business of the group because of its experience in allied operations with international presence and is expected to grow many folds in diversify products range. Meanwhile, the board of the new joint venture has been constituted with three directors of the PMC Group and one from ICI India Ltd.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 3, 2006)
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