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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Godrej Consumer Products plans FPO to raise Rs 400cr

Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL), part of the diversified Godrej group, is looking at various options including a possible follow-on public offering (FPO) to raise up to Rs 400 crore.

“We are exploring all possible options to raise the funds. These include a follow-on public offering, rights issue, qualified institutional placement, foreign currency convertible bonds or even a rights issue, GCPL executive director and president Hoshedar K Press said.

The company has spoken to many merchant bankers and should finalise one of them soon. Once that is done, we will decide on the further course of action along with the bankers, he added. The shareholders of GCPL, at the AGM on August 3, had approved the company’s plans to raise up to Rs 400 crore through various resources.

On the timing of the fund raising, Mr Press said that the whole process should be completed by the end of this year. “The fund raising should be completed by the year-end and will be utilised for clearing debts as well as funding further acquisitions, he said, adding that the company could also look at more than one option to raise these funds.

Godrej has debt of around Rs 130 crore on its books accrued as a result of acquisitions and capital expenditure plans.

GCPL shares fell marginally to Rs 135.80 on the BSE. It is the largest marketer of toilet soaps in the country, with leading brands such as Cinthol, Fairglow and Godrej No 1. The company has been on the look-out for acquisitions in the Indian as well as international markets to grow its product portfolio.

In September last year, the company had acquired the South African business of Rapidol, UK as well as its subsidiary Rapidol International, giving the company ownership of brands like Inecto and Soflene. It also acquired UK-based Keyline Brands in October 2005 in a deal valued close to Rs 130 crore, reports The Economic Times.

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