Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tata Chemicals buys US firm for $1 bn

The Tata group on Thursday celebrated the first anniversary of its acquisition of the Anglo-Dutch steel giant Corus, the biggest foreign takeover by any Indian company so far, by announcing that its chemicals outfit, Tata Chemicals (TCL), has entered into a definitive agreement to buy the soda ash business of the US-based General Industrial Products for $1 billion.

Post-acquisition, TCL will become the world’s second-largest soda ash maker with a combined capacity of 5.5 million tonne per annum (mtpa) and 14% share of the global market. Now, Tata Chemicals enjoys 8% share of the global market with capacity of 3 mtpa. Harbinger Capital Partners, majority stakeholder of General Industrial Products, had put its soda ash subsidiary, General Chemical (Soda Ash) Partners, on the block.

Homi R Khusrokhan, managing director, TCL, said: “It’s an auspicious day for the group. Exactly a year ago, the Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata announced the acquisition of Corus. I was sitting in the audience,” he recalled while announcing the deal on Thursday. The $12.9-billion Corus acquisition catapulted Tata Steel to the world’s sixth-largest steel company from its previous ranking of 56. read full story