Asian Paints offer to acquire 50.1% in Berger

Mumbai: Asian Paints (India) Ltd, India's largest paint-maker, has made an offer to acquire 50.1 per cent stake in Berger International Ltd (BIL), Singapore.

The company has received approval from the Securities Industry Council, Singapore, for making a partial general offer to all the shareholders of BIL, a holding company incorporated and registered in Singapore.

The company has filed a communication with the Singapore Stock Exchange, announcing the offer to acquire a 50.1 per cent stake in BIL, at a price of S$ 0.40 per share with a face value of S$ 0.25 each per share.

This investment, at the prevailing exchange rate, will amount to approximately Rs 576 million and is subject to requisite approvals of the Reserve Bank of India and such other authorities, as may be necessary.

BIL is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. BIL has subsidiaries in 11 countries including Singapore, manufacturing and marketing paints. BIL also has a 30 per cent stake in Dutch Boy Philippines Inc, a Philippines-based company. Asian Paints has further informed that BIL Singapore does not have any operations in India.

Asian Paints recently announced that it is acquiring a controlling stake in SCIB Chemical SAE Egypt. The company is among the five largest paint companies in Egypt. It has acquired 60 per cent of the paid-up equity share capital of SCIB Chemical at a price not exceeding Rs 245 million, through the company's wholly-owned subsidiary, Asian Paints (International) Ltd, Mauritius. The investment was approved by the board of directors at its meeting held on 23 August 2002.

Says Asian Paints' vice-chairman and managing director Ashwin Dani: "In line with our vision to expand our operations in the emerging markets, the Egyptian paint market was given high priority as it is a stable economy. SCIB Chemical is an excellent vehicle to enter the market, as the company complements Asian Paints in its operations and offers numerous opportunities to provide value to the Egyptian consumer."

Asian Paints, he adds, has been impressed with the brand equity of the company as well as the promoters. "We feel that there is a great opportunity in building on this equity and thus increasing the market-share of the company in the ensuing years. Our effort will be to provide value-added products and services with the entire range of decorative coatings to the consumer."