Havells may raise funding by listing global lighting arm Sylvania in London

Electrical equipment maker Havells India Ltd is planning to raise money by listing its Europe headquartered international lighting arm Sylvania on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), as per a report in The Economic Times.

The listing will help the company strengthen the brand in the European market besides raising resources to fund the company's growth, Rajiv Goel, president of Sylvania Global, told the newspaper.

The report added that the money will be used to fund acquisitions of brands or other lighting companies in Europe and Latin America.

"The company is evaluating a couple of proposals (acquisitions) and is hopeful of closing at least one of them. Financing such acquisition is not a concern as our parent company Havells India is always ready to support any such expansion plan. Our intent is to fund such inorganic growth from our own balance sheet," Goel was quoted as saying.

Havells acquired Dutch company SLI Sylvania’s lighting business in 2007 for $300 million to build a global presence. But with the global slowdown, Sylvania started reporting losses, turning a drag on Havells. The company then restructured Sylvania by shutting down plants, reducing fixed costs and trimming workforce. Sylvania started reporting profits from FY11.

Sylvania is one of the few lighting companies that produces both lamps and lighting fixtures. The firm has plants in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. It competes with global majors like Philips, Osram and GE besides various smaller firms in separate markets.

Last year private equity major Warburg Pincus exited Havells with approximately 2.5x returns where it sold 8.35 per cent stake for Rs 730 crore ($130 million), completing its exit from the nearly six-year-old investment.

Havells currently also counts Nalanda Capital and WestBridge Capital besides Norwegian sovereign wealth fund among its shareholders.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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