Panasonic acquires 76.2% stake in Bangalore-based Firepro

Panasonic Corporation is acquiring 76.2 per cent stake in AIG and Standard Chartered PE-backed Firepro Systems Pvt Ltd, the company has said in a release on Friday. Although Panasonic did not disclose the financials of the transaction, sources with knowledge of the deal said that it could be upwards of $200 million or Rs 1,066 crore.

Panasonic will acquire a portion of Firepro's ordinary shares, previously owned by investment companies. Following the acquisition, it will hold 76.2 per cent in Firepro while Firepro’s management will continue to own 10.8 per cent stake and the investment companies will have 13 per cent stake.

This would be the second acquisition for Panasonic in India after it acquired Anchor Group’s electrical business in 2010. Anchor will also increase its capital through a third-party allocation of shares.

A detailed questionnaire sent to Panasonic spokesperson in India for details of the deal did not elicit any response. The Firepro spokesperson could not be contacted either.

“Panasonic aims to veer into both housing and non-housing markets and offer total solutions by adding Panasonic’s and Anchor’s product line-up to Firepro's installation services for clients in the high-growth non-housing market (commercial facilities),” the company stated.

Incorporated in 1992, Firepro is an integrated solutions provider for fire protection, security and building management systems. Its bouquet of services include fire alarm and detection, fire suppression, access control, video surveillance, intrusion alarm, building management and consumer safety and security, along with complete managed services.

With more than 800 employees and Rs 700 crore of revenue, Firepro has 14 offices across the country, as well as a global presence through offices in the UAE, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia and Germany. The company has implemented over 1,500 projects so far.

In 2008, Firepro raised Rs 150 crore from Standard Chartered Private Equity. Earlier in 2006, it had raised Rs 50 crore from AIG.

“The ability to utilise Firepro's marketing capabilities can strengthen Anchor in non-housing fields and its strong outsourcing engineering capabilities cover the whole package of engineering, procurement and installation. The move is a major part of the company’s strategy to set the stage for strengthening Anchor's non-housing business,” the company said in its release adding that both Panasonic and Firepro aim to develop a solutions business around general contracting, covering the whole package of design, installation and services for building facilities. To achieve this goal, the company will utilise the engineering capabilities and client networking of Firepro, and the Panasonic's wide range of products and technologies.

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