M&M enters micro irrigation with stake acquisition in EPC

Diversified automaker maker M&M has unveiled plans to acquire a 38-per cent stake in BSE-listed EPC Industrie Limited.

The acquisition would be through preferential allotment of shares by EPC, following which M&M will make the mandaatory open offer to acquire a 20-per cent stake in the Nashik-based EPC.

For M&M, India's largest tractor maker, this is a related diversification in agriculture, where it already has a major presence in machinery and services through its farm equipment sector.

EPC Industrie Ltd was founded by IIT Mumbai aluminus K Khanna in 1981 in Nashik. Khanna is a pioneer in the industry and EPC is now one of the top five companies in India in micro-irrigation, selling drip irrigation systems, sprinkler irrigation systems and industrial pipes in over 12 states through a wide network of dealers. .

M&M said in a statement, "more than 80 per cent of the available water in India is consumed in agriculture. Micro irrigation is a water efficient irrigation technology. It reduces the amount of water and other inputs required for cultivation while improving productivity."

It said micro-irrigation, through all the benefits it brings to the farmer, such as reduced requirement of water, fertilisers, pesticides, de-weeding, electricity, labour, etc, ensures a 20 per cent to 30 per cent reduction in the cost of cultivation with an accompanying 10 per cent to 20 per cent increase in productivity.