October 2008
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IFC to pump in $75 m in United Phosphorous

International Finance Corporation (IFC) is planning to invest up to $75 million in the agro-chemical company, United Phosphorous Ltd (UPL), to fuel its expansion plans. UPL will use the funds in enhancing its production capacities and products portfolio, along with possible acquisitions.

During the financial year 2008, UPL has invested around Rs 229 crore as capital expenditure in increasing capacity of agro chemicals and industrial chemicals plants. “For the next three years capital expenditure of the company may cross Rs 500 crore,” said chairman and managing director (CMD), UPL, Rajju Shroff. “The company will continue to look for acquisition opportunities world over.”

In previous financial year, the firm acquired 100 per cent stake in Evofarms, ICONA and also acquired global triphenyltin hydroxide contact fungicide (TPTH) and fenbutatin-oxide miticide (TNTO) businesses of DuPont.

UPL's near term capital expenditures are planned mostly in expanding capacities for existing products at its facilities in Jhagadia and Ankleshwar. The company is also considering setting up of new production facilities in the domestic markets apart from looking for inorganic acquisitions of new products and companies in emerging markets.

Proposed IFC finances includes loan with 11 year maturity and three year grace period. If the proposed investment goes through, it will be IFC's second investment in the company. In 2003, IFC invested $17.5 million in the company for expansion projects in Vapi and Ankleshwar.

During FY08, UPL allotted 2.42 crore equity shares at Rs 350 per shares to qualified institutional buyers (QIB) apart from issue of 3.12 crore warrants at Rs340 to the promoter group. The company's shareholders, at its recent annual general meeting, approved bonus issue in the ratio of 1:1 and fixed record date as October 31 for the same. They also approved increasing its equity share capital to Rs 255 crore from Rs 155 crore divided in to 127.5 crore share of Rs 2 face value. As of June 2008, FII holds 41.7 per cent stake, mutual funds 14.49 per cent, while promoters' holding was at 27 per cent.

UPL, an off-patent agrochemical manufacturer, achieved sales of Rs 3,516 crore in the financial year 2008 and net profit of Rs 258.9 crore.

Agrochemicals division, including pesticides, fumigants and rodenticides, contributes 88 per cent of the company's sales while industrial and specialty chemicals contribute 12 per cent of the company's sales. The company's share price was trading at Rs 235 on the BSE on October 8. Company has been continuing its acquisition spree with production facilities and subsidiaries in UK, Europe, USA, Latin America and Far East, including Japan and China, besides India.

Source: Sify

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