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Tata Group keeps biotech on its radar

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Dr J.J. Irani, Director, Tata Sons, addressing a press conference in Bangalore on Wednesday. - G.R.N. Somashekar
Dr J.J. Irani, Director, Tata Sons, addressing a press conference in Bangalore on Wednesday. - G.R.N. Somashekar

Our Bureau

Bangalore, Jan. 4

THE Tata group is keen to explore investment opportunities in biotechnology but has no immediate plans to freeze a decision. The sunrise industry is one of the new areas the group wants to add to its portfolio of businesses.

Telecom services was one of the new businesses that Tata entered post-economic reforms and the Tata Tele Services Ltd was already among the top four players in the country.

"There is nothing major, but we are keeping an eye on biotechnology as a possible future investment proposition," said Mr J.J. Irani, Director, Tata Sons Ltd.

In an informal chat with newspersons here on Wednesday, Mr Irani said the group would be consolidating its core businesses through fresh investments or mergers and acquisitions where its synergies meet. Tatas had recently bought steel businesses in Singapore and Thailand while it had acquired the Daewoo's commercial vehicles in Korea last year, apart from strengthening its hotel, telecom and beverages businesses through the inorganic route.

Cancer hospital:

On Tata Trust's proposal of setting up a super-speciality cancer hospital in Kolkata Mr Irani said it was being planned on the lines of Mumbai's Tata Memorial Hospital and was expected to be ready within five years.

Mr Irani said the proposal to set up the hospital was part of the company's commitment to the eastern region, which played a significant role in its steel business.

A senior company executive had last year said that the 150-bed hospital would be set up at an estimated cost of Rs 92 crore.

The West Bengal Government had already allotted 10 acres of land to the Tata Group for a consideration of Rs 10 crore.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 5, 2006)
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