Berger to launch Bolix products in India

Written by Corporate Bureau | Kolkata, Jul 30 | Updated: Jul 31 2008, 06:36am hrs
Berger Paints' acquisition of Poland-based Bolix S.A. will be completed by the third week of August, opening up markets for Berger in European countries and enabling it to sell Bolix's energy-saving paints in India, chairman Kuldip Singh Dhingra said Wednesday.

"The acquisition will provide synergy benefits to Berger's presence in the region, both in terms of new business opportunities and regional markets. The growth prospects are enormous," Dhingra told reporters after the 84 th annual general meeting of shareholders here today.

Berger acquired Bolix in April from private equity group Advent International for $34.8 million with its internal resources.

Dhingra said Berger also plans to launch Bolix's paints in India, but he refused to provide a time-frame.

"The products are doing very well in countries which are conscious about saving energy and we are sure they will be well received in India as well," Dhingra said.

Bolix, with a turnover of $45.5 million in 2007, is the largest provider of external insulation finishing systems or EIFS in the B2B segment in Poland. It exports to Ukraine, Russia and the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

"The EIFS technology brings down energy costs substantially and also has great decorative finish," he added.

Bolix products have an 80% penetration in the Germany market, 40% in Poland and 3% in Ukraine.

Dhingra is also not averse to using Bolix as a launch pad for Berger products. "We may commission a manufacturing unit near Bolix's plants to make Berger products," he said.

Capex plans on course

Managing director Subir Bose said the automotive-paint manufacturing plant with a capacity of 24,000 tonne per annum at Jejuri near Pune, being built at a cost of Rs 50 crore, will be operational by September 2009.

The capacity expansion of the Goa solvent-based paint plant up to 18,000 kl per annum is complete and will be commissioned in two months.

In all, the company is spending Rs 100 crore to expand and launch new manufacturing units, he said.

Earlier, Bose earlier told shareholders that the company had cut back on dividend this year to 25% because of the Bolix acquisition and several other capital investments.