ICI India is readying a Rs800-crore war chest for acquisitions
and expansion in what it considers are its core business
areas of paints and industrial speciality chemicals.
the company''s 50th annual general meeting,
Rajiv Jain, managing director, said the sums accumulated
by the company through steady divestments of the non-core
businesses in the last few years, coupled with other reserves
and prudent borrowings could amount to nearly Rs800 crore.
indicated that the company would consider using this for
acquiring businesses in India and abroad, and for expansion
plans in the coming years.
Narain, chairman, ICI India said the company had gone
through a number of restructuring exercises and was now
poised to look forward to both organic and inorganic growth.
areas in which the company is looking for expansion are
paints and specialty chemicals. However, while in paints
the company can only limit its expansion plans to within
the country, with regard to speciality chemicals, "We
are free to expand beyond this country," said Rajiv
said ICI India was also ready to buy out the 49 per cent
HLL stake in Quest International India Ltd, a joint venture,
and would bring up the matter when the agreement comes
up for review after another three years.
company has been moving out of what it considers are its
non-core businesses in the past few years. The businesses
out of which ICI India has moved out include fertilisers,
fibers, explosives, agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and
nitrocellulose, the last one ironically being a specialty
rubber chemicals business continues to be a millstone
around ICI India''s neck as low global prices and the higher
input cost have put pressure on the margins. Sources say
the company is unable to find a buyer for the business.
said, "We are trying to turnaround the business before
taking a decision on hiving it off. However, no timeframe
has yet been fixed for continuation of such an exercise,"
to Jain, ICI India has made a total provision / adjustment
to the tune of Rs17.8 crore in the current fiscal to set
things right for the rubber chemicals business."
to officials ICI India''s sales growth was higher than
the average industry rate and its margins were on the
the previous quarter ended June 30, 2004, sales of ICI
India grew 26 per cent to Rs171 crore and the PAT was
at Rs12.6 crore,
up 65 per cent from the corresponding figure in the first
quarter of the previous fiscal. The PAT included extraordinary
income from sale of its nitrocellulose business.