Stationery major Camlin Ltd has reconstituted its board by appointing directors from its majority stake owner – Japan’s Kokuyo S&T Co., Ltd. The new board includes representatives of the JV partners (Kokuyo S&T and the existing Indian promoters Dandekar family), as well as new independent directors, a company statement added.

The new board of directors at Camlin also adopted a resolution on the new management and company name, along with the new corporate logo. Accordingly, the company will be renamed as Kokuy0 Camlin Ltd.

In May 2011, Camlin promoters entered into a definitive agreement with Kokuyo S&T of Japan under which the latter would acquire 50.3 per cent of the Indian company (for an estimated value of Rs 360 crore) through a mix of preferential allotment, share sale by the Indian promoters and mandatory open offer to the public. The Japanese firm has completed the open offer and owns a little over 50 per cent stake in the public listed firm.

New Vernon Capital, the US-based private equity and hedge fund founded by former Merrill Lynch honcho Arched Zachariah, had also acquired less than 1 per cent stake from Anil Singhvi-Anagha Advisors LLP for around Rs 3.5 crore.

Under the new management, the stationery major aims to reach Rs 1,000 crore topline in the next five years, along with healthy operating margins, thus ensuring a strong leadership in the Indian stationery market.

The joint venture will also enter into new categories, such as paper products and other value-added products, by bringing respective strengths from both the companies. In Japan, Kokuyo is a market leader in paper products, files and folders, and it is well-known for the design and the technology used for these products.

Kokuyo S&T is a fully owned subsidiary of Kokuyo Co., Ltd, a leading Japanese firm with over 100 years of experience in stationery and furniture products, design and construction of office and store interiors, mail order business, lifestyle retail and distribution. The company has an annual turnover of over $3.2 billion.

The Camlin-Kokuyo deal followed another big ticket transaction in the sector two years ago. In 2009, France’s Société Bic (BIC Group) acquired 40 per cent stake in Cello Writing Instruments & Containers Pvt Ltd for $162.4 million. The transaction included a payment of approximately $44.2 million to the promoters and also a call option in 2013 to increase the stake to 55 per cent at a price based on a formula tied to earnings. Cello manufactures, supplies and exports ball pens, gel pens, refills and other writing instruments, and it is a bigger firm than Camlin. In the same year, Linc Pens & Plastics, a manufacturer and exporter of writing instruments, formed a joint venture with Japanese company Mitsubishi.

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