Reliance to acquire Nocil division

Mumbai: Reliance Industries Ltd on yesterday said it had agreed to take over the ailing petrochemicals and plastics division of erstwhile rival National Organic Chemicals Industries Ltd (Nocil) through its business associate, Sunbright Cement Agencies Pvt Ltd.

With this acquisition, Reliance, which already holds 70 per cent of India's petrochemicals business through its 12.8-million-tonne petrochemicals capacity, will take on another 65,000 tpa of ethylene, 35,000 tpa of propylene, 17,000 tpa of Benzene and 10,000 tpa of Butadene capacity. Around 45 per cent of Reliance's revenues come from the petrochemicals business.

According to a senior Nocil official, completing the takeover process will take around four to six months. "Reliance had expressed interest (in buying the business) last year. But things did not work out. We have been negotiating over the last couple of months before reaching this agreement," the official said. The price RIL would pay was still being worked out, he said.

The Arvind Mafatlal group-promoted Nocil has been in financial and labour trouble for the past few years. The company shut down on April 16, 2002, after a string of failed restructuring proposals.