Ruia Group may acquire European auto-component company

July 15th, 2010 - 10:34 am ICT by IANS  

By Aparajita Gupta
Kolkata, July 15 (IANS) The Ruia Group, known for its buying spree, could acquire a European auto component company soon, chairman Pawan Kumar Ruia said.

“We are trying to close a deal very soon in one of the auto component companies in Europe. In Europe, a lot of companies are up for sale. We are working on some projects,” Ruia told IANS in an interview here.

The company, which is looking at two-three European companies, has acquired British auto component company Schlegel Automotive Europe Ltd and Germany’s leading automotive sealing systems company, Henniges Automotive Grefarth GmbH, in 2009.

“Both the companies in the UK and Germany are doing very well right now. Fortunately they are getting orders from the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers).”

Asked whether the latest European financial crisis is hitting the companies, he said: “Fortunately this year is better than the last year. Sales of European OEMs have increased. Our orders are increasing.”

“Approximately we are doing a business of 4.5 million euro per month in Germany and 2.5 million pounds business in the UK.”

About other acquisition plans of the group, he said: “For SsangYong we have appointed Deloitte to do the due diligence process. By this week it will be completed. We asked for some more time from them for the management presentation. Now they have extended time till August 20.”

The Ruia Group and Mahindra & Mahindra are among the six suitors shortlisted to bid for the bankrupt South Korean firm SsangYong Motor.

The Group has meanwhile shelved its plan to set up a Rs.4-billion greenfield tyre plant in Assam for at least one year, Ruia said, as the company will concentrate on expanding its existing units in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Uttaranchal.

“We have shelved the Assam project for the next one year. We are not very keen right now on the project as we are concentrating on scaling up facilities in Mysore and Uttaranchal and with expansion of Monotona (Tyre facilities) near Mumbai,” said Ruia.

The company had acquired a 60-acre plot for constructing the Assam plant.

Ruia said the company would pump in Rs.1,500 crore for the expansion works.

It would expand the capacity of Falcon Tyre in Mysore to 300 pieces a day. The Uttaranchal plant under the Falcon banner is a new plant and it would scale up the capacity of Monotona Tyre near Mumbai to 500 pieces from 300 pieces a day.

The group ventured into tyre industries in 2005 with the acquisition of Dunlop India Ltd and Falcon Tyres Limited. In 2007 it acquired Monotona Tyres at Mumbai and in the same year it bought controlling stake in electronics company Industronics Berhad in Malaysia.

He said Falcon Tyres that clocked a turnover of Rs.851 crore in 2009-10 for 18 months would be able to achieve a Rs.800 crore turnover this fiscal (12 months).

He said the company is focussing on a big project in Tamil Nadu in the tyre segment but declined to divulge details. “We have focussed ourselves more on tyres. It’s a big project in Tamil Nadu.”

The diversified group is also into wagon-making business through Jessop & Co. “We are now doing Rs.200-crore business and here we are certainly trying to diversify our product line. We are looking at adding more fabrication items.”

The order book size of Jessop to be delivered over one to one-and-a-half year’s time is around Rs.500 crore.

He acquired a sick heavy engineering and infrastructure company Jessop & Co in 2003 and turned it into a profit- making business.

The group is planning to stall its plan for the sugar mill in Bihar for another six months, he said.

The company already has a sugar plant in Kamlapur Sugar and Industries Ltd at Uttar Pradesh, which has a daily capacity of crushing 4,000 tonnes of cane.

(Aparajita Gupta can be contacted at aparajita.g@ians.in)

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