ICI catalyst business goes to Johnson Matthey

Mumbai: ICI India has decided to sell its catalyst (synetix) business to Johnson Matthey plc. The company is seeking shareholders' approval in this regard. The sale of the unit was approved by the ICI board on 23 September 2002. The total consideration expected to be received for this business is about Rs 1,400 million.

The catalyst business of ICI India is closely integrated with the synetix business of the ICI group. The ICI group had, in January 2002, decided to divest the business and has since agreed to sell its global synetix business to Johnson Matthey. ICI India had established its catalyst business in 1984 with technology from the ICI group.

Given the interdependency of the India business it is in the best interest of all the shareholders, concerned employees and all its customers that the India business is divested to Johnson Matthey. The net sales revenue from the business in the financial year ended March 2002 was Rs 430 million.

The business proposed to be transferred to Johnson Matthey will include the entire commercial set up along with the Taloja manufacturing facility and about 49 employees. The transaction is expected to be over in the current fiscal year after obtaining the approval of ICI India's shareholders through postal ballot and other applicable approvals as may be required.

ICI India posted a net profit of Rs 81.30 million for the quarter ended 30 June 2002, whereas the same was Rs 47.10 million for the quarter ended 30 June 2001. The total income for the quarter ended 30 June 2001 was Rs 1,600.80 million, whereas the same was Rs 1,589.20 million in the quarter ended 30 June 2002.

The figures for the quarter ended 30 June 2002 are not comparable with those of the corresponding period of the previous year in view of business portfolio changes.