The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sumitomo ups stake in Swaraj Mazda

Mumbai, June 25: Punjab Tractors has decided to sell close to 15 per cent of its stake in Swaraj Mazda to Sumitomo Corporation of Japan for Rs 62.92 crore.

At present, Sumitomo holds a 10.41 per cent stake in the joint venture (Swaraj Mazda), while Punjab Tractors owns 29.04 per cent (30.45 lakh shares). Mazda Motor of Japan has 15.62 per cent.

The acquisition of Punjab Tractor’s stake by Sumitomo is considered a major victory for the latter as it would make the Japanese conglomerate the single-largest shareholder in the Indian joint venture.

Sumitomo had earlier approached Punjab Tractor for buying its 15.73 lakh shares in Swaraj Mazda. But the tractor manufacturer didn’t yielded to the offer then.

At its meeting on June 24, the Punjab Tractor board decided to accept Sumitomo’s offer to buy 15.73 lakh equity shares, constituting approximately 15 per cent of the paid up capital of Swaraj Mazda, at a price of Rs 400 per share aggregating Rs 62.92 crore. Punjab Tractor has informed the stock exchanges today.

The Sumitomo offer price equals what the private equity fund, Actis, made in its open offer to acquire 25 per cent stake in Swaraj Mazda.

The price of Rs 400 a share is 13 per cent higher than the closing price of the Swaraj Mazda shares on the Mumbai Stock Exchange on Friday. The scrip closed at Rs 355.25 after opening at Rs 352 and hitting an intra-day high of Rs 359.50.

Swaraj Mazda’s technical collaboration with Mazda Motor is reported to have expired some time ago. Following this, Swaraj Mazda sought Sumitomo’s support to its future product development programmes in association with the Japanese truck maker Isuzu Motors.

Punjab Tractors board had been considering the Sumitomo offer for some time now. It had constituted a committee of directors to negotiate the deal with the Japanese partner.

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