Sun Chemical Group BV, the US$2.5 billion Dutch company, has made an open offer to the shareholders of Coates of India to acquire 25 per cent of the company's equity capital. Sun Chemical's offer is priced at Rs 165 per share and is valid from the 16th to the 21st of February 2000. Coates of India is a 51 per cent subsidiary of UK-based Coates Brothers. It is the biggest printing inks company in India with an annual turnover of Rs 155 crore.
Sun Chemicals' offer follows Coates Brother's decision to sell its stake in the ink business to Sun Chemicals. Coates Brother is a subsidiary of French oil and chemicals major TotalFina. TotalFina, in July last, signed a letter of intent with Sun Chemical for selling its US$ 850 million printing ink business as part of its restructuring exercise.
Sun Chemicals has created an escrow account of Rs 71 crore, or 25 per cent of the total consideration payable, with Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. Shareholders of Coates of India whose names appear on the company's register of members as on 6 January, 2000 have been selected for the buy-back offer.
Coates of India is the leading printing inks company in India with headquarters in Calcutta. The company operates seven manufacturing units at Calcutta, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Noida, Bangalore, Delhi and Madras. The plants at Calcutta and Mumbai are the largest and have ISO accreditation. Despite stiff competition from Japanese and other Far Eastern companies, Coates India has been gaining market shares in Asian and African countries.