M&M to buy into Algerian tractor distributor
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Automotive major Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) will acquire a 5% stake in Eurl LD Azouaou, an Algeria-based firm engaged in the business of tractor assembly and distribution.

M&M, led by billionaire entrepreneur Anand Mahindra, informed the stock exchanges on Wednesday it has signed an agreement to invest $150,000 (about Rs 1.1 crore) in the Tizi Ouzou-based Eurl LD.

The investment will help M&M re-enter the Algerian agricultural machinery equipment market. It’s an all-cash deal and the automaker aims to complete the transaction by the end of May 2020.

Shares of M&M fell nearly 5% on the BSE in afternoon trade on Wednesday at Rs 355.85 apiece. The stock had touched its multi-year lows of Rs 345.65 last week amid a worldwide panic sell-off as fears over the coronavirus pandemic spread, and crude oil price wars between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Eurl LD was incorporated in 2010 and has been in the business of assembling and distribution of tractors in Algeria.

The company reported a near 36% drop in revenue for 2019 to $2.4 million (approximately Rs 17.4 crore), according to information made available in the stock exchange filing. It did not reason the drop in revenue.

In 2018, Eurl LD’ revenue stood at $3.7 million (approximately Rs 27.1 crore) compared with $2.7 million (Rs 19.6 crore) in 2017.

This is M&M’s second investment for the current calendar year. Earlier this month, VCCircle reported that the firm — an existing shareholder in venture capital-backed MITRA Agro Equipments Pvt. Ltd, struck a bargain deal and increased its stake in the company to 39% from 26% earlier.

Mumbai-based M&M had struck four investment transactions last year, including the additional Rs 316.5 crore-capital infusion in South Korean arm Ssangyong Motor Company in February 2019 in which it raised its stake to 74.65%.

The firm’s other investments in 2019 were Swiss agri-tech startup Gamaya, strategic acquisition of Mumbai headquartered radio taxi operator Meru Travel Solutions, and Series-C investment in Smartshift Logistics Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which counts private equity firm Sequoia as its backer.

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