Betts, the UK-based tubemaker which was reportedly being eyed by Indian laminated tube manufacturer Essel Propack, has denied being in sell-off talks with Essel. The company said in a statement that it's not "contemplating a sale of the business at this time".
"We have not had any contact with, or received any offers from, Essel Propack," Stuart Miller, CEO of Betts Group said in a statement. A report published on Tuesday in the Economic Times said that Essel Propack was eyeing a controlling stake in the Essex-based Betts. The UK company was placed in administration after breach of banking covenants.
Miller further said Betts has just completed a refinancing process, which has reduced its debt levels. Difficult trading conditions over the last 18 months had affected Betts’ performance. Betts was bought in October 2007 in a secondary management buy-in led by a private equity investor and a consortium of lenders in a deal primarily funded by debt.
Clarifying on its subsidiaries, which include the India operations, the company said, "Betts operating subsidiaries did not go into administration during the process and as a result suppliers and customers were completely unaffected."
A report in the Telegraph, UK says that the company has made a pre-tax loss of £7.7m in the 200 days to last March on revenues of £49.7m after paying more than £11m in debt interest payments. Betts had group debts of £94.1m made up of £53m of bank loans and £39m in shareholder debts.
Essel's UK unit posted an operating profit of Rs. 183.9 crore (before exchange losses) and Rs. 132.2 crore (after providing for exchange losses), which are lower by 9% and 37% respectively from the EBITDA last year.
Essel has a global market share of 32% in the laminated tubes segment with units across the world, while Betts accounts for nearly 14%. Essel’s plastic packaging business is managed by four geographical segments viz. Americas (with operations in the USA, Mexico and Columbia), Europe (with operations in the UK, Germany, Poland and Russia), Africa, Middle East & South Asia – AMESA (with operations in Egypt & India), East Asia Pacific – EAP (with operations in China,
Last year, Essel acquired US-based Catheter and
Disposables Technology, a supplier of specialised medical disposable
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