Rediff.com  » Business » Kirloskars in talks for Mather & Platt arms

Kirloskars in talks for Mather & Platt arms

By Kausik Datta in Mumbai
May 25, 2005 11:17 IST
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The Chhabria family-controlled Jumbo Group is in talks with the Kirloskars to sell its Mather & Platt businesses. The group has three companies under the Mather & Platt umbrella -- Mather & Platt Pumps, Mather & Platt (India) and Mather & Platt Fire Systems.

Merchant bankers said the group had appointed a Mumbai-based investment bank to finalise the modalities of the deal.

"The group has been planning to sell off the Mather & Platt companies as they are not a core business of the group," said a merchant banker.

Sources close to the development said the Kirloskars could be interested in the pumps and fire systems businesses.

When asked about the proposed sale, a Jumbo Group spokesperson said, "We do not comment on speculation as a matter of our group policy."

The Jumbo Group had announced the sale of the liquor business of Shaw Wallace to the Vijay Mallya-controlled UB group three months ago.  The group also divested its 70 per cent stake in Hindustan Dorr-Oliver to IVRCL Infrastructure & Projects a month ago.

Merchant bankers said the group was also in the process of selling off Dunlop India, a defunct tyre company that is under the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction.

It is learnt that a Kolkata-based industrialist, having exposure in real estate and stock market, has shown interest in Dunlop. However, a Jumbo Group spokesperson said the group was only focusing on revival of the company through BIFR.

Mather & Platt (II) Mauritius, an investment company of the Jumbo Group, holds majority stake in Mather & Platt Pumps and Mather &Platt (India), which holds the controlling stake in Mather & Platt Fire Systems.

The Jumbo Group had promoted Mather & Platt (India) jointly with Mather & Platt, UK, and Greaves Cotton in 1959 to manufacture calenderbowls for the textile industry. Subsequently, it became a major player in the process machinery manufacturing.

It had ventured into manufacturing of centrifugal pumps and fire protection installations.

Only a year ago, Mather & Platt (India) had spun off the pumps and fire protection installation businesses into separate companies under the name of Mather & Platt Pumps and Mather & Platt Fire Systems Ltd, respectively.
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Kausik Datta in Mumbai
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