Tide Water to buy UK lubricant firm Price Thomas for $13.7M

Lubricant maker Tide Water Oil Co. (India) Ltd has agreed to acquire the UK-based Price Thomas Holdings Ltd for £9.59 million (Rs 91 crore or $13.7 million) in cash to expand its international operations.

The acquisition will help Tide Water price its products competitively in Europe, the Kolkata-based company said in a stock-exchange filing.

Price Thomas makes lubricants and car care products in the UK, and also exports to Ireland, Sweden and Bulgaria. It posted pre-tax profit of £0.87 million on gross revenue of £10.92 million for 2014.

Tide Water said that it doesn’t require any regulatory approvals for the transaction and that it expects to complete post-acquisition formalities soon.

Founded in 1992, Tide Water makes automotive and industrial lubricants and markets under the Veedol brand. The Indian company also has a tie-up with Japan’s JX Nippon to make and sell lubricants under the Eneos brand.

In October 2011, Tide Water had acquired UK-based Veedol International Ltd for an undisclosed amount from BP Plc.

Tide Water is part of the Andrew Yule group, which also has engineering, electrical, tea cultivation and power generation businesses.

Last year, Mumbai-based lubricant maker Standard Greases and Specialties, along with private equity funds managed by Tata Capital, had launched an open offer to buy up to 26 per cent of Tide Water from public shareholders.

The open offer, however, received a tepid response and the buyers acquired only 4.45 per cent stake from public shareholders, according to an announcement by offer manager SBI Capital Markets Ltd in January this year. Standard Greases now owns about 27.7 per cent of Tide Water while the Andrew Yule group owns a tad above 26 per cent.

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