Titagarh Wagons buys out Italian partner in coach-making venture

Abhishek Law Kolkata July 31 | Updated on January 11, 2018

Umesh Chowdhary, Vice-Chairman and MD

The venture rechristened Titagarh Firema will cater to the metro industry

Titagarh Wagons, the country’s largest private sector wagon maker, has picked up the 10 per cent stake offloaded by Adler Plastics in Titagarh Firema Adler SpA, an Italian metro-coach making venture between the two.

Adler Plastics has exited the venture thereby making the now renamed Titagarh Firema, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Titagarh Wagons Ltd (TWL). TWL now holds 1.8 per cent directly and Titagarh Singapore Pte, the remaining 98.2 per cent.

“Adler had decided to enter into designing of interiors for railway coaches because of which we entered into the joint venture. However, they did not enter the segment and so we bought out their stake,” Umesh Chowdhary, Vice- Chairman and MD, TWL, told BusinessLine.

He did not disclose the amount Titagarh paid to buy the stake. Adler had invested around €1 million in the joint venture.

“We prefer to operate through wholly-owned subsidiaries unless there are strategic or financial benefits,” he added.

Revenue boost

The Italian subsidiary helped push up revenues from European operations and also increase consolidated revenues, the company’s annual report said.

TWL reported an over 78 per cent increase in its consolidated revenues for FY17 to ₹1,739 crore; the Italian subsidiary’s top-line was ₹1,011 crore.

Titagarh Firema will initially cater to the metro industry in South Asia by providing integrated solutions, including car bodies, bogies, light railway vehicles, metro trains, electric and diesel locomotives, coaches and tramways, the annual report said. It will also explore African and European markets, Chowdhary said.

TWL, promoted by the Chowdhary family, has set up a joint venture company with Maitere SAS of France, called Matiere Titagarh Bridges Pvt Ltd in January for manufacturing metallic bridges.

Other sectors

Other businesses like orders from the Indian Navy (fuel barges) and the National Institute of Ocean Technology (coastal research vessels) are expected to be the growth drivers at a time when wagon procurement from the Indian Railway continues to be erratic.

Chowdhary is hopeful of demand for wagons picking up by FY18 or early FY19. This would be driven by the capital expenditure planned by the Railways.

The company will also actively explore metro railway bids. “We are waiting for some clarifications on government policy,” he pointed out.

Published on July 31, 2017

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