Mumbai: Hinduja group flagship company Ashok Leyland (ALL) has joined the race to acquire stake in Punjab Tractors Ltd (PTL).
Besides the 29 per cent stake held by Actis in Punjab Tractors which is on the block, another stakeholder, the Burman family - promoters of FMCG major Dabur, which holds a 14.5 per cent stake in Punjab Tractors - is also said to be interested in selling its stake.
ALL, India's second-biggest bus and truck maker, said it has submitted a non-binding bid for a 29 per cent stake in Punjab Tractors Ltd held by private equity fund Actis and the stake held by Dabur promoters, the Burman family.
"Yes... We have bid for both Actis' and Burman's stake in Punjab Tractors," R Seshasayee Managing Director, Ashok Leyland, said here.
Almost all major auto manufacturers, including the Tatas, Fiat, Mahindra and Mahindra are now in the race for the Punjab Tractors stake.
Utility vehicles major Mahindra and Mahindra had last week expressed interest in acquiring the Punjab Tractors stake and had put in a non-binding bid.
Besides, New Holland Tractors is also reported to have entered the fray in partnership with Tata Motors for a stake in Punjab Tractors.
Tractor maker Escorts Ltd., privately-owned Tractors and Farm Equipment Ltd. (TAFE) and the Sonalika group are also reported to be in the race to buy a stake in India's fourth-biggest tractor and farm equipment maker.
Punjab Tractors, a part of the Swaraj group, has been operating at around half its installed capacity of 60,000 tractors per annum, and has been losing market share because of a shift to more powerful tractors.
India's tractor market has been growing at 25-30 per cent a year.