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PE investors set to fuel Kurlon expansion

Raghuvir Badrinath & Mahesh Kulkarni  |  Chennai/ Bangalore 

Global private equity majors and large buyout funds are understood to be in advanced discussions with the promoters of Kurlon Ltd, to acquire a minority stake in the company. Kurlon Ltd is a Rs 750 crore group company of the Manipal Group has around 20 per cent market share in the Rs 4,000 crore branded mattresses business in India.

According to investment bankers close to the company, Apax Private Equity which focuses on large transactions including taking management control is in advanced discussions for a Rs 200 crore investment. Investment bankers further add that Darby Private Equity, an arm of Franklin Templeton is also in discussions with Kurlon. A statement from the company without declining to name any investors said that it is planning to raise capital through private equity. “The organisation is looking at raising funds to stimulate its expansion plans and double its manufacturing capacity in India. Presently the company is under negotiations with PE and is likely to announce the equity funding in few weeks,” the statement added.

Kurlon is looking at raising approximately Rs 200 crore from the funding from which 5-15 per cent will go to the PE company. The amount that will come from PE route will be spent on Kur-lon’s mattress business towards increasing manufacturing and workforce capacity for the future growth of the company. Additionally Kurlon has also applied for bank loans to fund the capex requirement.

Kurlon is one of the leading manufacturer of mattresses and furnishing products in India. Kurlon started business in 1962 and manufactures, supply and sell rubberised coir mattresses, foam mattresses and spring mattresses; polyurethane foam (PU foam); pillows, cushions and bolsters; home furniture and furnishing products, all under the brand name ‘Kurl-on’. The company currently has 6,380 dealers, 55 area sales offices and a workforce of 1,570 employees across India.

It is understood that Maha Rashtra Apex, an NBFC which ceased to operate during 1999 holds around 35 per cent stake while the rest is held by the promoters. The company has three manufacturing units in Bangalore, Gwalior and Bhubaneshwar and is understood to be churning out a million beds per annum.

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First Published: Wed, May 30 2012. 00:29 IST