Hinduja group-promoted GOCL Corp Ltd said Monday that it has decided to pare just under half its stake in chemical giant Quaker Houghton USA, for Rs 257 crore ($35 million).
GOCL Corp said in an exchange filing that it had decided to sell 0.2 million or 46.7% of the 0.42 million shares it held via a wholly owned UK-based HGHL Holdings Ltd.
This would bring down HGHL Holdings’ 2.4% stake to 1.1%.
Interestingly, in its annual report released earlier this month, GOCL Corp had said that its investments in Quaker Houghton (formerly Quaker Chemicals) had “increased in value to Rs 626 crore as on August 21, 2020”.
The company went on to say that it will invest proceeds from any divestments that it will undertake in the current or next financial year, “in improving the revenue generation in the medium term” and “strengthening” their businesses.
GOCL Corp did not specify exactly where these proceeds would be spent or invested.
Quaker Houghton was formed in 2019 when Quaker Chemicals merged with Houghton International Inc USA, a subsidiary of the Hinduja group’s Gulf Oil International. While HGHL Holdings initially held a 10% beneficial stake in Houghton International Inc, following the merger it received 427,000 shares of the combined entity, which amounted to a 2.4% stake in Quaker Houghton.
The latest development comes even as the Hinduja group, promoted by four NRI billionaire brothers, SP Hinduja, GP Hinduja, PP Hinduja and AP Hinduja, has been at the centre of a succession battle with the dispute in the High Court in England.
Apart from GOCL Corp (formerly Gulf Oil), the Hinduja group promotes marquee Indian companies like auto major Ashok Leyland, BPO firm Hinduja Global Solutions and IndusInd Bank.