The ownership of Harrisons Malayalam (HML), which has been in the works since last year, has finally been sorted out.
HML was not included during the time of separation of the Rs 19,000 crore business empire. “It has been demarcated as to which plantation would go with which group. The company will be restructured into two strategic business units first, while both will eventually become two separate companies,” said Sanjiv Goenka.
After the rebranding of the Sanjiv Goenka group of companies’ announcement, the HML stock rose 0.14 per cent to Rs 73.65, after an intra-day high of Rs 74.85.
The Rs 300-crore Kochi-based Harrisons Malayalam is one of the pioneers in corporate farming in the country and runs plantations for tea, rubber, cocoa, coffee and spices. The company’s operations are spread over 20 estates, eight rubber factories and 12 tea factories along with a number of blending and processing units in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Clarifying the process of sharing a pie each in HML, Goenka said, “The division of the two SBUs is a lengthy procedure in which some plantations will be owned by Harsh and some by me. It would be two mirror-image companies with no change in holdings.” HML, which is the largest rubber producer in the country and has a history of more than 150 years, was acquired by the RPG Group in the 1980s. Recently, it was evaluating options of buying about 10,000 acres of farmland for $112 million in Africa.
The company cultivates on more than 14,000 hectares, producing about 9,000 tonne of rubber, 20,000 tonne of tea and 25,000 tonne of pineapple per year. During 2010-11, its income rose 12 per cent to Rs 370.8 crore as against Rs 331.5 crore during the corresponding period last fiscal, while the profit was down 58 per cent from Rs 12.36 crore in 2009-10 to Rs 5.25 crore in 2010-11.