Private equity funded Argentum Motors floated by Hyundai India’s former president BVR Subbu,
Spicejet promoter Ajay Singh, and broadband entrepreneur Ashish Deora, has bought in a majority stake in French contract major, prototype specialist and electric vehicle giant Heuliez.
It has been pursuing Heuliez since April this year. Heulize at present makes components for Peugeot and a few other European brands but lately it had not been doing well. It was up for grabs and now post acquisition, Argentum will shift a large part of Heuliez’s production to India and will be supplying cheaper components to European car majors.
Argentum has been funded by private equity and hedge funds D E Shaw, Rand Corporation of South Africa-promoted proprietary fund Satwa based in Hong Kong and IL&FS, who took collectively 10 per cent, late last year. The three funds had collectively forked out Rs 200 crore and had also provided the company a loan worth Rs 100 crore.
Last year, Argentum had taken over the Daewoo Motors India factory near Delhi for Rs 800 crore. It has acquired an engine and transmission plant with a capacity of 40,000 annually, a press factory with a capacity to service 200,000 cars, an aluminum die casting unit
to handle 17,500 tonnes of castings, a 40 MW plant, plastic shop, an assembly line to make 250,000 cars annually (and a research and development centre) plus land for development.
In its tie-up with French aviation and technology major Dassault Systemes, the duo are working towards setting up a centre of excellence, Argentum Engineering Design (AED) in Noida it is aiming to provide powertrain solutions to various companies.
Lately, Chrysler is also looking at tying-up with Argentum Motors (AML) for taking up contract manufacturing for its sports utility vehicles (SUVs) (including Grand Cherokee and Jeep Cherokee) and the Dodge range in India. It was only recently, Carnation Auto , a multi brand auto sales & service venture, formed by former Maruti MD, Jagdish Khattar got funded by IFCI and PremjiInvest.