Coromandel hikes stake in Liberty Phosphate to 79.6%

Fertiliser producer Coromandel International Ltd (CIL) has acquired an additional 26 per cent stake in Liberty Phosphates Ltd (LPL) for Rs 90.4 crore ($16.86 million) in an open offer, which was fully subscribed. This takes Coromandel’s total holding in LPL to 79.6 per cent.

Earlier this year, CIL signed a definitive agreement to buy a controlling stake in fertiliser maker LPL and two of its affiliates – Liberty Urvarak Ltd and Tungabhadra Fertilizers & Chemicals Co. Thereafter, it picked up over 48 per cent stake in LPL, held directly by its promoters, besides another firm which owned another 5.01 per cent, taking its holding to 53 per cent.

LPL promoters – the Dhanani family members – still own around 7.6 per cent of the firm and CIL has the right to buy all or a part of this stake within the next six months.

Murugappa Group flagship Coromandel International is one of the top private manufacturers and marketers of fertilisers, speciality nutrients and crop protection products. This deal will make it the largest SSP (single super phosphate) fertiliser player in the country, a segment where it is currently a bit player, with capacity of more than 1 million MT.

Liberty is one of the top players among the SSP fertiliser makers in India with 14 per cent market share. It has six units located in Udaipur and Kota in Rajasthan, as well as one plant each in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. The company is also setting up a plant at Rae Bareli.

Two months ago, CIL acquired an additional 8.13 per cent stake in Hyderabad-based Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation Ltd for $20.34 million.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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