Amara Raja Promoters Plan Holding Company; To Cross Rs 1,000 Cr Mark In ‘08

Promoters of Amara Raja Batteries (ARBL) has decided to frame up a Amara Raja Batteries (ARBL) holding company, which represents six companies comprising Amara Raja Infra, in an offer to sell equity stake to foreign investors.

Johnson Controls, which has a 26% stake in ARBL, the only listed company in the group.

Jayadev Galla, managing director, Amara Raja Batteries, said that the holding company would be the initial step in promoting the group towards international investors, though no instant plans have been prepared in this regard.

"In the past, we have gone to public once (ARBL), raised some debt and brought in some strategic investors (into the group companies), but nothing exciting beyond that," Mr. Galla said.

Mr. Galla plans to turn his group into a Fortune 500 corporation by the next two decades.

The company anticipates crossing Rs 1,000 crore mark in the existing year.

The other group companies include Amara Raja Power Systems, Mangal Precisions Products, Amara Raja Electronics and Galla Foods. The newly- created Amara Raja Infra that is fully owned by the family will handle the whole infrastructure works for group companies.

“The first step is to consolidate the family holding in the group companies,” Mr. Galla added.

He also said that the formal announcement on the development of a holding corporation is likely to be made within the next two months.

ARBL also plans to invest Rs 200 crore in the recent year in order to swell capacity to make industrial and automotive batteries.

The company said that the investment will be funded via debts and internal accruals.

Moreover, the company is also considering setting up a greenfield plant in Haridwar.

Mr. Galla said that the establishment of a new plant in the north would permit the company to access retail market in the region and cover up automobile companies at lesser cost.

Presently, the company is in the business of battery manufacturing.

Galla Foods, manufacturer of fruit pulp and juices, recently entered the domestic retail market by launching a mango juice brand in Tirupati and Hyderabad.

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