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Schneider takes over Luminous for Rs 1,400 cr

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Schneider Electric, the $20-billion French engineering company, today said it was acquiring a 74 per cent for Rs 1,400 crore. Luminous is a New Delhi-based maker of inverters and industrial batteries. The deal values the company at Rs 1,866 crore.

This would help Schneider triple India sales to Rs 4,543 crore from the 2009 levels and make India its seventh-largest market in terms of group sales.

This is Schneider’s eighth acquisition in the Indian energy management space since 2000.

“After this, Schneider will be able to report a significant increase in size in India. We want to be the top player in UPS and inverters in India. We want India to be one of our top four markets,” said Olivier Blum, managing director, Schneider India.

Schneider has made six acquisitions in India since mid-2009, beginning with Conzerv Systems, a Bangalore-based energy metering company. It acquired Meher capacitors, an arm of the Bangalore-based MEHER group, in August the same year and two units of the Mumbai-based Zicom Electronic Security Systems in March 2010. It acquired the digilink business of Smartlink Network Systems and a 75 per cent stake in APW President Systems earlier this year.

“What makes this acquisition different is that it is being done as a joint venture. This is because we wanted the Luminous management to continue its valuable support. Luminous will be managed as an independent company,” said Blum.

Luminous is a privately-held company owned by Rakesh Malhotra and two partners.

Besides the three promoters and their families, CLSA Capital, Sar Capital (an employees’ trust) and a family charitable trust hold stakes in the company. Malhotra said promoter and family holdings had not been significantly diluted. He did not give details of the equity structure.

Malhotra said the founders would continue to be associated with the company. He did not elaborate on what the promoters planned to do with the sale proceeds. “The remaining 26 per cent stake owned by the founders will be subject to put and call options,” he said.

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