Carborundum Universal turns acquisitive in South Africa
Chennai, June 19 (IANS) Abrasives major Carborundum Universal Ltd (CUMI) Tuesday announced the signing of a binding agreement with Austrian company RHI to acquire the latter's wholly-owned fused minerals subsidiary RHI Isithebe Ltd as well as the plant of RHI Refractories Africa, all located in South Africa.
The acquisition will be by CUMI's wholly owned investment subsidiary CUMI International Ltd, Cyprus.
"The whole deal is expected to get over in four weeks time and the deal size will be announced then. The acquisition will be funded by internal accruals," S. Dhanvanth Kumar, vice president and company secretary, told IANS.
According to him, the refractory plant now owned by RHI Refractories will first be transferred to RHI Isithebe and then transferred to CUMI International.
"Following the transfer the company will be renamed as Thugela Refractories, Isithebe so as to retain the local sentiments than imposing the CUMI brand," Kumar noted.
RHI Isithebe is one of the largest fused mineral manufacturing facilities in Africa and can deliver up to 30,000 tons of various fused minerals a year.
CUMI is a fully vertically integrated abrasives, electro-minerals,ceramics, refractory company with operations in Australia, Canada, China, India, Middle East, Russia, South Africa, Thailand and the US.
CUMI brings to the Isithebe business, along with capital and technologists, its brands, market access, application engineering expertise and global management practices.
On the rationale for the recent South African acquisition, Kumar said: "The company focuses on steel industry and has technology for that sector. CUMI's Indian operations would benefit from the transfer of that technical expertise."
The South African acquisition brings back CUMI into an acquisitive mode after a lull. Four years back, CUMI acquired 51 percent stakes in Foskar Zirconia Ltd in South Africa.
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