Singapore-based Golden Agri-Resources, the world’s second-largest palm oil plantation company promoted by Indonesian billionaire Widjaja family, has inked a deal to buy 75.02 per cent stake in Gemini Edibles and Fats India (GEFI) for $25.6 million, it said on Wednesday.
Golden Agri is buying 71.63 per cent stake in the firm from its existing shareholders and investing additional money to subscribe to fresh shares which would take its holding to 75.02 per cent.
GEFI, a producer of ‘Freedom’ brand edible oil in addition to cheese and fats, was majority owned by Indore-headquartered Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd. Ruchi Soya sold its entire 50.001 per cent stake in the transaction for $17.88 million (Rs 109.92 crore).
The other shareholders of GEFI could not be immediately ascertained.
Its current product portfolio primarily comprises refined sunflower oil, refined palmolein, refined palm oil, bakery fats and vanaspati, and are marketed under “First Klass”, “Freedom” and “GEF Magik Food Services”.
The Hyderabad-based firm has a plant at Krishnapatnam with a refining capacity of 900 MT per day, and a refinery at Kakinada with a capacity of 150 MT per day.
During the financial year 2013-14, GEFI contributed 5.23 per cent or Rs 1,507 crore to Ruchi Soya’s revenue and represented 0.79 per cent or Rs 19.18 crore of its net worth.
Ruchi Soya is a flagship company of Ruchi Group of Industries, which has a turnover of over Rs 26,000 crore. Besides being a leading manufacturer of edible oils, vanaspati, bakery fats and soy foods, Ruchi is also one of the biggest exporter of soy meal, lecithin and other food ingredients from India.
It has brands like Nutrela, Nutrela Soyumm, Ruchi Gold, Mahakosh, Sunrich and Mandap among others.
Earlier this year, Ruchi Soya formed a joint venture with Canadian firm DJ Hendrick International Inc (DJHII) and Japan’s KMDI International for developing and commercialising specialty soybean seeds.
“The acquisition provides the opportunity for the group to participate in the high growth branded cooking oils and specialty fats industries in India, with the country being one of the major consumers of edible oil globally, which is in line with the group’s strategy to extend its distribution and processing reach to key consuming countries,” Golden Agri said.
Golden Agri is a Singapore-listed firm promoted by Indonesian billionaire Eka Tjipta Widjaja.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)