APR, previously Andhra Pradesh Rayons, promoted by Ballarpur Industries (BILT), APIDC and G R Handa to manufacture rayon grade wood pulp (RGWP), used primarily in the manufacture of viscose filament yarn and viscose staple yarn, was incorporated in Mar.'75. At this stage, BILT took control of the company and formulated a rehabilitation scheme in 1989.
APR has grown to become a major manufacturer of RGWP. It sources the main raw material, wood of eucalyptus & casuarina trees, from the forest reserves of Andhra Pradesh. More than 55% of its production is supplied to Grasim while the balance is supplied to other VSF manufacturers. Besides RGWP, it diversified into flexible packaging and pulp with plans to enter the leather business. To this end, A&R Bilt Packaging, a BIFR company, has been merged with it. The flexible packaging line was commissioned in the first quarter of 1996. In the leather division, Toscana Shoes, one of the group companies, was amalgamated with the company in 1997. APR started soyabean meal exports in 1994-95 and also increased the pulping capacity to 300 tpd.
It came out with a rights issue of NCDs with warrants in Mar.'96 to finance the modernisation of the pulp-mill. In 1998-99, it increased the installed capacity of rayon grade pulp to 98,550 MT.
A&R Packaging, which was booking heavy losses due to low capacity utilisation, was hived off and sold to Paper Products Ltd in August 1998. The company also increased the paid-up capital from Rs 269 mn to Rs 329 mn during 1998. It issued 6 mn equity shares of Rs 10 each at a premium of Rs 29 a share to Chescor Private Equity Fund, thereby giving it 18.3% stake in the company.