Crompton Greaves rejects offer for overseas power unit; shuffles management

Electrical equipment maker Crompton Greaves Ltd said on Thursday it has turned down an offer to sell its international power business and continues to look for buyers for the unit to consolidate its business.

The company said in a stock-exchange filing that it had rejected a definitive offer for its power business in the US, Europe and Indonesia due to disagreement over some terms. The company, however, added that discussions were still on with the potential buyer to work out the kinks to see through the deal.

The Gautam Thapar-led Avantha Group, which is the promoter of Crompton Greaves, has been consolidating its business over the past two years to cut debt and focus on its core businesses.

Last October, Crompton Greaves sold its power transformer business in Canada to PTI Holdings Corp for about C$20 million ($15.18 million, or Rs 99 crore then). Avantha has also sold an asset under the power generation arm to Adani Power and sold its Malaysian paper unit under Ballarpur Industries Ltd.

Last year, Crompton Greaves decided to hive off its consumer appliance business into a separate listed firm. In a parallel deal, Avantha said it will sell its entire stake in that demerged business to PE firm Advent and Singapore government's investment arm Temasek.

In November, the company received the Bombay High Court’s approval to de-merge its consumer products business into a separate listed firm.

Top-level reshuffle

The company said Laurent Demortier, who had been serving as the CEO and managing director since June 2011, will step down. He will remain on the board as an executive director till the end of next month.

KN Neelkant, executive vice president and president of international business unit, will replace Demortier at the top post.

Neelkant has also served as managing director and CEO of Avantha Power & Infrastructure Ltd, the power and infrastructure business vertical of Avantha Group.

The company also elevated chief financial officer Madhav Acharya to its board as executive director of finance.

It retained Norberto Santiago as the CEO of its international automation business and appointed Jean Michel Aubertin as the CEO of the international power systems business that it has been trying to sell.

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