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TTK seeks ally for healthcare business

September 23, 2004 10:58 IST

The Chennai-based TTK Group, as a part of its restructuring, has exited from an array of businesses -- textile, insurance broking, paper, printing, gloves and syringes businesses.

The over Rs 700 crore (Rs 7 billion) turnover group is now scouting for strategic partners for its healthcare businesses including medical devices, healthcare management and pharmaceuticals.

On the cards are major expansion plans for its kitchenware business -- the company's core business. TTK Prestige, the group flagship company, is looking at the option of launching Mantrra -- a range of cookwares marketed in the US.

Its emphasis now would be on kitchen appliances such as micro ovens, mixer-grinders and even modular kitchen set-ups. It will set up over 100 exclusive retail outlets by March 2006.

T T Jagannathan, chairman of TTK group, said: "We have now clearly defined our business operations and strategy. We will focus on the kitchenware business (TTK Prestige), medical devices, prescription drugs, herbal pharmaceuticals and OTC range of pharmceutical products (TTK Healthcare) and condoms business (TTK LIG)."

"The idea is to be either number one or number two in all the businesses we are in. We are the number one player in pressure cooker segment in the world. While we have exited low margin businesses like gloves and syringes, we will continue to expand in other areas of medical devices and healthcare businesses. We have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a south-based player for divesting our interest in the insurance broking business and are currently awaiting Irda clearance," Jagannathan added.

The group had in the past divested its 49 per cent stake in Sara Lee TTK for Rs 20 crore (Rs 200 million).

In the healthcare segment, the company's core brands include Chitra heart valve and Woodward's gripewater. TTK LIG market three of the leading condoms brands -- Kohinoor, Durex and Nirodh. It produces 1.1 billion condoms.

The group houses joint venture alliances with Seton Scholl International and London International Group, for marketing Scholl footcare products and condoms, respectively.
Reeba Zachariah & Rumi Dutta in Mumbai