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Tatas' overseas quest began with Tetley

By B G Shirsat in Mumbai
February 01, 2007 09:57 IST
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The Tatas' overseas quest, which began with the acquisition of the Tetley group in 2000 for $431.23 million, reached another milestone on Wednesday with the acquisition of 100 per cent of Corus for $12.15 billion. Tatas' cross-border acquisition thus aggregated to $15 billion.

In the last six years, Tata group's cross-border takeovers have spread across 26 companies --  from steel, agro commodity, software, automobile and chemical to telecom sectors. The major thrust of the Tata group apparently was for the steel sector as 80 per cent ($12 billion) of the group acquisition went towards this sector.

The Corus acquisition will now fuel the Tata group's ambitions for a global presence in the steel sector with 30-million-tonne production by 2015.

Till Tuesday, the Tata group's most significant overseas buy was Energy Brand Inc, which the group acquired from TSG Consumer Partners for $677 million.

This all cash deal for a 30 per cent stake, signed on August 23, is still pending. Tata Chemicals' $519.65-million acquisition of Egyptian Fertiliser Co SAE in May 2005 was the group's  second largest overseas deal.

Till Corus happened, NatSteel Asia was Tatas' biggest acquisition in the steel sector, bought for $283.69 million in August 2004. Tata Steel also consolidated its steel operations  by buying Millennium Steel Public of Thailand for $362.35 million. The acquisition was renamed as Tata Steel Thailand PCL.

The other major acquisitions by the group were Eight O'clock Coffee by Tata Coffee for $220 million, Ritz-Carlton Boston by Indian Hotels for $170 million and Brunner Mond Group Plc by Tata Chemicals for $111.15 million.

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B G Shirsat in Mumbai
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