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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Olam in talks to acquire Indian spices firm: report

By MINDY TAN


COMMODITY player, Olam International is in talks to acquire privately held Indian spices company, Vallabhdas Kanji Ltd (VKL), The Times of India reported yesterday.

Olam - in which Temasek Holdings is a major shareholder - declined to comment when contacted, saying they do not have the practice of commenting on media reports.

The company is in advanced discussions to clinch a deal, said the report, after the Mariwala family mandated an investment bank for a stake sale, citing people aware of the matter.

Vallabhdas Kanji's managing director, Ajay Mariwala told the newspaper that the company has been running a process to bring a strategic investor, and would announce any developments when ready.

Olam has hit the acquisition trail hard since its commitment to double its FY2016 goal to US$1 billion profit after tax (PAT), announced during their FY2011 full year results briefing last week.

Last week, Olam announced the acquisition of an India-based 3,500 tonnes crush per day (TCD) sugar milling facility and a 20MW cogeneration facility by way of Hemarus Industries, with plans to enhance the sugar milling capacity to 5,000 TCD.

Some of the key acquisitions made by Olam to consolidate its position in the spices business have included California-based Key Food Ingredients (KFI) and Gilroy Foods.

In its financial statement, Olam said that the integration of the acquired companies in the spices and vegetable ingredients business (namely Gilroy, SK Foods, and KFI), had been successfully completed and 'they are now co-located together in Fresno, California, to better extract synergies'.

Separately, Olam subsidiary NZ Farming Systems Uruguay yesterday posted a net comprehensive loss for the year ended June 30 of US$ 1.59 million, performing better than the previous year's loss of US$11.29 million.

Turnover almost doubled year-on-year from US$22.54 million to US$43 million.

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