MUMBAI, Oct 8 (Reuters) - U.S. private equity firm
Blackstone Group has paid $100 million for a 12.5 percent
stake in India's International Tractors Ltd (ITL), it said on
Monday, in a bet on the modernisation of India's farms.
India is one of the world's leading producers and consumers
of agricultural commodities, and the farm sector accounts for
about 15 percent of the economy, Asia's third largest.
"Trends such as ... rising labour costs are leading to
increased adoption of mechanisation by farmers," Blackstone
India chairman and managing director Akhil Gupta said.
Blackstone, the world's largest private equity fund, has to
date invested about $2.7 billion in India.
ITL will use the $100 million partly to increase production,
said LD Mittal, the firm's chairman. "We are also looking at
buying out smaller component manufacturing companies mainly in
Europe," he said without giving details.
ITL has annual turnover of around $500 million, and holds a
10 percent share of the domestic tractor market. It exports
tractors to over 70 countries.