CHENNAI, INDIA (Aug. 27, 8:30 a.m. ET) —
L&T's parent company, Indian conglomerate Larsen & Toubro, announced the sale in an Aug. 27 filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange. Terms were not disclosed.
The investment is part of a significant expansion into developing markets by Toshiba, which is opening an injection press factory in
For example, by some estimates, Japanese car makers have more than 50 percent of
Larsen & Toubro, a major Indian conglomerate with US$12.8 billion in total sales, said it is selling the plastics machinery business as part of its “strategic road-map to exit non-core businesses and rationalize its portfolio.”
It said the machinery unit had sales of 206 crore (2.06 billion rupees or US$37.1 million) with profit after tax of 11 crore (110 million rupees or US$1.98 million) in the fiscal year that ended in March.
“We are a fairly large technology, engineering, construction and manufacturing company, whereas, plastic is a much smaller business in our wide portfolio,” said S. Raghavan, a senior vice president with Larsen & Toubro and head of the company's machinery & industrial products unit, which includes the plastics business.
“Moreover, even the smaller players or companies [in the injection press market] are manufacturing electric injection molding machinery, whereas [L&T] is focusing on hydraulic based injection molding machinery,” he said in a telephone interview from Chennai.
Asked about L&T's recent results, Raghavan replied: “The first quarter of the current fiscal [year] was not good, sales were down [compared to last period a year ago]. But we hope to maintain or marginally improve the sales turnover in the fiscal 2012-13.”
L&T's makes injection presses for a variety of markets and enjoys strong brand recognition in
The chief executive of L&T Plastics Machinery, P. Kailas, declined to comment on the sale.
In the L&T statement, it said Toshiba was making the purchase “as part of its strategy to expand globally with a focus on developing markets.”
In an email to Plastics News, Toshiba, based in
It said L&T Plastics Machinery, based in
Measured by sales, L&T's business would at present seem to be only a relatively small addition to Toshiba, which had global sales US$592.7 million in its molding machinery unit in the year ending March 31, 2011, the last period figures are available on the company's website.
It reported income of US$16.1 million in its molding machinery division in that period. The molding machinery business includes plastic injection and extrusion machines, along with die-casting machines.
In 2010, Toshiba Machine adopted a new business plan that it said would “launch new sales and service bases primarily in the Asian markets” and seek to develop more systems integration, relying less on only selling machines.
“Emerging economies in
L&T's plastics machinery unit was formed in 2000 as a joint venture with
L&T was also one of the initiators of the Indian government's 2009 decision to enact steep anti-dumping penalties against some Chinese-made injection molding machines.
New Delhi-based correspondent Satnam Singh contributed to this report.