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Tata Steel eyes buyouts in India, S-E Asia

BS Bureau in Bangalore | July 24, 2004 10:56 IST

Tata Steel has shortlisted potential acquisition targets in India and South-East Asia and hopes to acquire these companies within two years, managing director B Muthuraman said on Friday.

Muthuraman said the company was interested in South-East Asia and was looking at specific entities, but refused to divulge details.

Muthuraman was in Bangalore to launch Tata Steel's fourth branded offering Tata Wiron, covering galvanised wires. Tata Steel now has four brands -- Wiron, Shaktee, Tiscon and Steelium.

The company expects the brands to rake in about Rs 4,000 crore (Rs 40 billion) revenue this fiscal, with Wiron contributing Rs 800 to 900 crore (Rs 8-9 billion). Also the company's brand bouquet is set to grow further with the setting up of a Construction Solutions Entity. Tata Steel plans to promote three to four brands under this segment this year.

Muthuraman said, "We target to sell 300,000 tonne of Wiron this fiscal and hope to scale it up to 600,000 tonne in two years and a million tonne or Rs 3,000 crore (Rs 30 billion) in value terms in four years."

While the company would have to add capacity to meet the target, he said plans were afoot to acquire units in India and overseas.

In two years, about two lakh tonne of Wiron would be manufactured abroad, he said.

At present, Tata Steel's wire making is largely confined to India with just 12,000 tonne being made in Sri Lanka. Further for the current year, the company expects to export 50,00 tonne of Wiron.

Muthuraman said the company's three brands, which last year contributed Rs 2,300 crore (Rs 23 billion), would generate Rs 3,000 crore (Rs 30 billion) revenues this year, while Wiron would chip in with the rest.

He said growth of the galvanised wire capacity would form part of the company's plans to scale up capacity through expansion and acquisitions from 4.1 million to 15 million tonne by 2010.

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