BK Birla Group firm Kesoram Industries on Tuesday said its top priority would be to reduce its debt to stay afloat after the demerger of cement business to Ultratech.

The Kolkata-based company also said it would remain committed to its loss-making subsidiary, Cygnet Industries. The company plans to engage in dialogue with its Japanese technical partner, Futamura, as a strategic investor after the demerger of its cement business is completed.

Cygnet turnaround

In the first AGM after the demise of Kesoram chairman Manjushree Khaitan, CEO and Whole-time Director P Radhakrishnan said the company would now focus on rayon and transparent paper business that is left with the company. The approval for demerger of the cement business is pending with NCLT.

“There is no plan to hive off Cygnet. Currently, we are focused on the demerger process of the cement business. It is expected to be completed by December this year. We believe that Cygnet can be turned around as it has innovative packaging products in its portfolio,” Radhakrishnan told reporters after Kesoram’s 105th AGM here.

New chairman

The AGM was chaired by Satish Narain Jajoo, who was elected chairman after the demise of Manjushree Khaitan, who passed away on May 16. The younger daughter of the legendary industrialist BK Birla, Khitan joined the Kesoram board in October 1998 and became its chairperson upon the death of Birla in July 2019.

“Our priority is to reduce debt,” Radhakrishnan added.

In November last year, Kesoram had decided to demerge its cement business and merge it with UltraTech, the country’s largest cement producer, through a share-swap deal.