Acquisitions in the field of software and pharmaceuticals dominated the Indian march across UK and Europe in recent months.
Tata Steel completes sale of UK mills
The UK's Liberty House Group has completed the purchase of two pipe mills from Tata Steel UK in north-east England.
Liberty, which is part of the GFG Alliance, had signed a provisional agreement to acquire the units at Hartlepool last month and appointed top steel pipe specialist, James Annal, to head the new pipe and tube division. Sanjeev Gupta, the executive chairman of Liberty House, said the deal marked his group's plans to play a key role in the global oil and gas pipeline sector.
He said: “This is an important first step in our ambition to become a world leader in energy pipe and we are already looking at plants in other countries. The acquisition of this high-calibre business and its skilled workforce gives us the basis to upgrade the liquid steel production facilities we're buying at Whyalla, South Australia, and our plate mills at Dalzell and Clydebridge in Scotland to make high-value-added API grade plates that can be rolled at Hartlepool to supply pipeline projects worldwide.
“This fully-integrated value chain will make us a world leader in this field and help showcase Britain′s engineering prowess in supplying a world-class highly-engineered product.”
Liberty has said it intends to rebuild the previously struggling operation at Hartlepool, adding around 100 new jobs to the existing 140-strong workforce.
Bengaluru firm to set up in London
Bengaluru-headquartered RxPrism plans to set up a regional innovation hub in London to expand its footprint in the UK and Europe.
The global healthcare-focused digital marketing and customer engagement services and solutions provider is among 20 start-ups selected in this year's India Emerging 20 (IE20) programme, which supports Indian companies to grow their international business via London.
Dr Maruthi Viswanathan, Founder-CEO of RxPrism Health Systems, said: “London was an immediate choice as the place is appropriately positioned to cover the US and APAC time zones. We have already registered our subsidiary in the UK. Therefore, we aim to complete this expansion plan in about three months from now and get the UK centre functional by this October-December.”
The firm is planning to invest $2 million over two years, a part of which would come from the company's innovation fund and the rest from UK-based venture capitalists.
The company is set to create over 250 job opportunities for software developers and creative specialists in the next two years, with 30 per cent of this strength working in its R&D lab.
Aurobindo Pharma to expand to EU
India's Hyderabad-headquartered Aurobindo Pharma is planning an expansion into European Union (EU) countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic.
The company is also eyeing growth in Italy and Spain and plans to launch various new products in the US market as part of a wider strategy for the next three-four years.
“Lower generic penetration in Italy, Spain, Portugal and France offers future growth potential as the share of generics improves,” the company said in an investor presentation.
The company is working on plans to launch cancer treatment and injectable products in the EU. With the acquisition of Generis Farmaceutica SA, it claims to have catapulted into the big league in the Portuguese generic market. It has also completed the acquisition of the Orocal brand to leverage its position as a key player in the French drug market.
In the US, Aurobindo aims to broaden its portfolio through accelerated growth in injectables, over the counter (OTC) and higher complexity products.
Jindal Poly Films to acquire Dutch firm
Indian packaging films maker Jindal Poly Films Ltd has agreed to acquire the Netherlands-based Apeldoorn Flexible Packaging Holding BV for an enterprise value of 82.3 million euros in cash.
The transaction will require anti-trust approvals in the Netherlands and Germany and is likely to be closed by the end of September, Jindal Poly said in a stock exchange filing in India. It added that the acquisition would be made through its JPF Netherlands BV unit.
Jindal Poly Films said the acquisition will help it increase its product offerings by adding load security films. The deal will also strengthen its relationship with brand owners in the food, beverage and fast-moving consumer goods segments.
The company added that it aims to expand its differentiated product offerings in the packaging films business globally.
Apeldoorn was set up in 2014 and besides load security films, it makes bread and cheese packaging films. Its consolidated revenue was 111 million euros for the calendar year 2016.
Eicher Motors closes in on Ducati
India's Eicher Motors Ltd, the parent company of Royal Enfield, is closing in with a binding bid to buy Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati at an estimated cost ranging between $1.8-2 billion.
German carmaker Volkswagen is considering options for Ducati, including a sale of the brand, wholly controlled by VW's Audi division.
Volkswagen had put the sale on hold after resistance from German trade unions and internal rifts on strategy. There are talks that VW had told five bidders to hold off making binding bids for the motorbike brand, which it put up for sale in April to help fund a strategic overhaul.
Basudeb Banerjee, analyst at Mumbai's Antique Stockbroking, was quoted as saying: “Ducati being a well-renowned brand will help Eicher in terms of design and technology, which in turn will help expand the Royal Enfield product portfolio in the years to come.”
A few of the other bidders include Harley Davidson, Suzuki, Bajaj Auto and Hero MotoCorp Ltd.