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Sonalika looks at IPO down the road

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Utility vehicle-making unit of the company, , will also place 10% in PE deal.

International Cars and Motor Ltd (ICML) plans to raise funds through a public offer in the next 3-4 years, according to the utility vehicle-making company of the Rs 3,000-crore . The Punjab-based entity is placing 10 per cent stake in a private equity deal, its vice-chairman said earlier this week.

The 1989-incorporated ICML, functioning from Hoshiarpur, makes the Rhino series of multi-utility vehicles that can seat seven-eight passengers. They function both as taxis and private vars.

These days, the company wants to invest in developing a sports utility vehicle with a foreign partner. “We are talking to a few private equity companies for selling 10 per cent stake in the company. We are looking to raise Rs 450 crore,” said Mittal. “Further, we will look at hitting the capital markets in the next three or four years.”

The Mittal family, owners of the Sonalika Group, has been into making farm equipment since 1969. They started making tractors in 1996, and entered the utility vehicle sector, which is slated to grow at 16 per cent in India. Rhino was launched in 2006.

If the private equity stake sale goes through, it will place a rough valuation of ICML at Rs 4,500 crore. Mittal declined to name the private equity entities his company was in talks with, but said the deal would happen by the year-end.

ICML’s sports utility vehicle, to be launched next year, is set to compete with Mahindra’s XUV 500, and . The company will display a concept vehicle in the in Delhi early next year. Rhino sells in select markets upcountry; its SUV will have a pan-India presence.

International Tractors, the tractor-making company of Sonalika, is looking at acquisitions. Through this route, it hopes to enter the US and European markets, which have stringent emission norms.

“There were several companies available to us for acquisition,” reveals Mittal “We were also looking at local manufacturing, as places like Turkey are a good manufacturing and distribution location. We are doing due diligence of a target company.”

The company may shell out Rs 300 crore to Rs 400 crore on the deal. It is increasing its tractor-making capacity in India to 100,000 units per annum from the current 60,000 units. It had recently announced a completely knocked-down operation in Myanmar, whose government provides huge support to agriculture companies.

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