ITC Blog

Monday, September 03, 2007

ITC buys KK Birla group firm

In order to boost its agri business, ITC Ltd on Friday has acquired Technico Pty Ltd of Australia from KK Birla group outfit Chambal Fertilisers & Chemicals Ltd. The acquisition was done through the investment arm of ITC, Russell Credit Ltd.

Technico is engaged in potato seeds and supply chain management. ITC officials was tight-lipped about the size of the deal. Sources close to KK Birla group said that Technico along with its subsidiaries has a turnover of Rs 400-500 crore.

KK Birla group used to hold 78% stake in the Australian outfit through an investment arm in Singapore called Chambal Biotech Ltd. Chambal Biotech is a wholly owned subsidiary of the group flagship Chambal Fertilisers & Chemicals Ltd.

"Chambal bought 51% stake in Technico in 2003. Later on it was raised to 78%. Technico has a major market share in $100-billion potato chain management market in the US," sources added.

Sources also said that ITC has offered a good deal for Technico but did not disclosed its size. "There is a confidentiality clause in the deal. So Chambal cannot disclose it until ITC discloses," sources said.

According to information available, the company supplies chain solutions to global customers by using proprietary technology to deliver early-generation seed potato products.

The agri division of ITC had recorded a 51% jump in revenue in 2006-07 at Rs 2646 crore and is now one of the fastest-g rowing division of the FMCG and tobacco major. "The high yielding potato seeds will be like a backward integration for Bingo, the potato chips and finger snacks," sources added.

Technico has subsidiaries in India, Canada, China and United States along with Australia. The Indian subsidiary is called Chambal Agritech Ltd. The other subsidiaries are Technico Group America Inc in the US, Technico Horticultural (Kunming) Co Ltd, China, Technico Technologies Inc, Canada. Besides, Technico has four subsidiaries in Australia.

Chambal Agritech Ltd is a joint venture between Technico and Chambal Fertiliser. It produces high quality potato seed, which is known as technituber in India. The facility in Himachal Pradesh is one of the largest technituber producers in world. The group had invested over Rs 60 crore in the project.

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