The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hitachi tightens grip on Amtrex

Mumbai, Dec. 24: Japanís Hitachi Home & Life Solutions Inc. today announced its plan to raise its holding in Amtrex Hitachi by buying out the Lalbhai group, its Indian partner in the domestic appliance maker.

In a notice to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), the Indian company said on Tuesday that the proposed purchase will raise Hitachi Homeís, a unit of Hitachi Ltd, stake in Amtrex Hitachi to 54.60 per cent from 35.20 per cent.

However, the notice did not reveal the finer details such as the price at which it plans to buy the Lalbhai groupís stake. Neither did it disclose the date when the deal would be completed. Shares in Amtrex hit the ceiling when it gained 20 per cent to Rs 21.95 immediately after the announcement.

The news came as no surprise as industry circles have been speculating of such an eventuality for some time.

The Lalbhaiís have been long searching for an exit route as the group is now focusing on the revival of its flagship company Arvind Mills.

Amtrex Hitachi Appliances Ltd (AHA), is a joint venture between Hitachi Ltd of Japan and the Lalbhai group since 1999. Headquartered in Ahmedabad, the companyís manufacturing facilities at Kadi and Silvassa are among the seven Hitachi room air conditioner facilities worldwide. The Indian plant also exports Hitachi air conditioners to the Saarc nations and other tropical countries in addition to catering to the Indian market.

Amtrex Hitachi is also a significant player in the commercial refrigeration business in India with its manufacturing facility at Changodar and strategic alliances with IMI Cornelius of the UK and Orford Refrigeration of Australia.

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