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Bharati buys out UK shipyard major Swan

Surajeet Das Gupta & P R Sanjai  |  New Delhi/Mumbai 

Bharati Shipyard, the country's second-largest private sector ship-builder, is understood to have acquired the UK-based Swan Hunter Shipyard for an undisclosed amount.
"The entire machinery and equipment from Swan Hunter will be dismantled and brought to India over six months to be re-built at Bharati's shipyards," sources said.
The sources said the acquisition might be one of the biggest deals till date in the domestic shipbuilding industry. A comparable new shipyard would have cost Rs 200-250 crore.
A spokesperson for Bharati Shipyard declined to comment, saying, "As a company policy we do not react on market speculation."
This acquisition assumes significance given the fact that all international shipyards are overbooked till 2009-end as the general economic upswing has resulted in a demand for new ships.
Moreover, the International Maritime Organisation has brought in a number of regulations leading to scrapping of old vessels. This has also fuelled demand.
"There is also an acute shortage of rigs with only nine manufacturers in the world. Bharati Shipyard recently forayed into offshore rig construction. This acquisition will also bolster its new line of products including offshore structures," industry analysts said.
Swan Hunter, a 130-year-old shipyard, is engaged in shipbuilding, ship conversion and construction of offshore structures.
It has built over 1,600 ships of various types, including more than 400 naval vessels, which includes two aircraft carriers.
Swan Hunter has the capacity to build vessels of up to 1,00,000 dead weight tonne (DWT).
Bharati is developing a greenfield shipyard in Mangalore and ramping up facilities at the Ratnagiri yard.
According to shipping experts, "The acquisition is extremely beneficial to Bharati as it can scale up operations quickly. Also it can execute more orders and make substantial savings in time and resources as it would have taken more than two years to build a similar infrastructure indigenously."
Through this acquisition, BSL is expected to have fully automated panel line, quayside travelling gantry cranes of up to 180 tonne capacity, 30 overhead travelling cranes of up to 60 tonne capacity, plate rolls, bending presses, robotic profiling machines, and digitally fed plasma burning equipment.
This will enable Bharati to build ships and vessels with the capacity of up to 60,000 DWT.
Bharati will also acquire the 20,000-ton lift capacity floating dock of Swan Hunter, which will add a lot of value to its existing operation.
The company had earlier bagged a contract from Reliance Industries for constructing six vessels worth Rs 120 crore.

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First Published: Tue, April 10 2007. 00:00 IST