Ahmedabad-based Nirma Ltd has acquired the S K Birla group-controlled Saurashtra Chemicals from the Asset Reconstruction Company of India Ltd for an enterprise value of over Rs 300 crore (Rs 3 billion).
A top source at Birla Buildings -- the headquarters of the Birla group -- said the sale proceeds would be utilised to clear the company's debt with banks and financial institutions.
Saurashtra Chemicals, a Porbander-based soda ash manufacturer, is under the purview of Arcil, which had put the company's assets on the block. Other bidders for the company were believed to be Tata Chemicals and DCW Ltd.
According to CMIE data, Saurashtra Chemicals incurred a loss of Rs 22.41 crore (Rs 224 million) on sales of Rs 273.51 crore (Rs 2.74 billion) in the financial year ended 2003. The paid-up capital stood at Rs 32.65 crore (Rs 326 millioN), while borrowings stood at Rs 244 crore (Rs 2.44 billion).
The company's total soda ash exports in financial year 2004 amounted to 128,000 MT, a 26 per cent increase over the previous financial year. The company is now India's largest exporter of soda ash.Nirma Ltd has posted a net profit of Rs 284.65 crore (Rs 2.85 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2005, compared with Rs 246.80 crore (Rs 2.47 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2004.