Coromandel International Limited, an arm of the Murugappa group, has decided to acquire an additional 32.68 per cent equity stake in Dhaksha Unmanned Systems Pvt. Ltd (Dhaksha), a Chennai based differentiated drone start-up, for ₹204 crores. This will take Coromandel’s stake to 51 per cent in Dhaksha.

The shares of Coromandel, which provides agri inputs and solutions, were quoting at ₹941.85 on Thursday afternoon, gaining 0.43 p.c. over the previous close of ₹937.80 per cent.

The four-year-old Dhaksha has emerged as a major drone player in the country, providing a range of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) technology solutions in agriculture, defence, surveillance and enterprise applications.

“Investment in Dhaksha is in continuation with Coromandel’s strategy to identify promising avenues of growth outside its core operations in Agri-inputs which would be value accretive for its shareholders,” Arun Alagappan, Executive Vice Chairman, Coromandel International Limited, said here in a statement on Thursday.

He said the acquisition would help Coromandel’s presence in the fast-growing UAS segment where drones and its applications are expected to grow and reach a global market size of $90 billion by 2030. 

“This investment follows the company’s recent announcement of its entry into Specialty Chemicals and Contract Manufacturing (CDMO) businesses,” he said.

Daksha, which also offers remote pilot training services, trained over 950 pilots so far. It received DGCA certificate for three drone models in medium and small categories for agriculture and surveillance applications.

“In addition to driving resource efficiency and sustainable practices in agriculture, Dhaksha drones have high potential in defence and enterprise applications,” Arun Alagappan said.