MUMBAI, Jan 25 (Reuters) - India's Coromandel International
said it has signed a definitive agreement to buy a
controlling stake in fertiliser maker Liberty Phosphate Ltd
and two of its affiliates for up to 3.75 billion
rupees ($69.84 million) to strengthen its soil nutrients
Coromandel will buy the founders' stake of 56.28 percent in
Liberty Phosphate for 241 rupees a share. It has also made an
open offer to public shareholders of Liberty Phosphate for an
additional 26 percent at the same price, it said in a filing
with the Bombay Stock Exchange.
The acquisition will raise Coromandel's single super
phosphate (SSP) capacity to over one million tonnes from the
present 130,000 tonnes, the company said in a separate
Coromandel will also buy 100 percent equity in Liberty
Urvarak Ltd and Tungabhadra Fertilizers & Chemicals Co through
separate agreements, it said.
Single super phosphate or SSP is obtained through a chemical
reaction between rock phosphate and sulphuric and is a cheaper
alternative to the popular diammonium phosphate. It helps treat
sulphur deficiency in soil and enhances yield of crops such as
oil seeds, pulses, sugarcane, fruits and vegetables.
Liberty Phosphate and its affiliates clocked a combined net
profit of 68 million rupees on sales of 6.45 billion rupees in
the fiscal year 2011/12, Coromandel said, adding it would fund
the acquisition through internal accruals.
Shares in Coromandel International were down 6.8 percent at
215.60 rupees at 0529 GMT while Liberty Phosphate was up 3.1
percent at 219.25 rupees in a firm Mumbai market.
($1 = 53.69 rupees)
(Reporting by Kaustubh Kulkarni in MUMBAI; Editing by G.Ram