Godrej keen to acquire majority stake in JV with Sara Lee

Adi GodrejGodrej Consumer Products Ltd is looking at options to acquire a 51 per cent stake in the US-based Sara Lee Corp in the joint venture between the Godrej Group, Godrej Sara Lee.

This was confirmed by group chairman Adi Godrej in an interview with CNBC-TV 18 today.

"I think it (the acquisition cost) would be in the order of Rs800 crore. But first we have to get shareholder approval and then work it out with Sara Lee Corp," Godrej said. Godrej Sara Lee manufactures household pesticides.

Godrej Consumer - which mainly makes makes soaps, detergents and hair color - will also look at raising money through various instruments for funding acquisitions, he said. Earlier today, the company's board approved raising up to Rs3,000 crore.

"We have considerable capability to raise debt in the initial stages. We have about net Rs200 crore of cash on our balance sheet, so we don't need to raise equity for the first few hundred crores or even up to Rs1,000 crore," Godrej said.

Godrej said that most of Godrej Consumer's discussions for acquisitions were focused on overseas markets, particularly the developing world. "Our concentration is on the developing world but that doesn't mean we won't look at the developed world. If something is of strategic importance and of high accretiveness, we could look at the developed world too," he said.