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Blackstone snaps up Essel Propack for Rs 3,211 cr, acquires majority stake at Rs 134 per share

Mumbai: American buyout major Blackstone has agreed to acquire a controlling stake in Essel Propack, one of the largest manufacturers of laminated tubes used mostly by the FMCG and pharma companies, for $462 million or around Rs 3,211 crore.

The two-legged deal involves Blackstone buying 51 percent stake from promoter Ashok Goel Trust, which owns 57 percent in Essel Propack for Rs 2,157 crore or $310 million, apart from an open offer for an additional 26 percent stake Rs 139.19 a share, which will be worth $152 million, taking the total deal consideration to $462 million or Rs 3,211 crore, the companies said.

Goel, who also runs Essel World, the first amusement park in Mumbai, is the younger brother of Subash Chandra, the promoter of the financially troubled Essel group that has an indebtedness of Rs 17,174 crore.

Goel was very vocal to deny any business relationship with his elder brother Subash Chandra's Essel group, which is passing through financial troubles for some time now. "I have no debt and I am not leveraged," Goel said, adding "as a family we are one, and care about each other. But there is no financial or commercial relationships with each other and there is no cross-holdings whatsoever between the two groups," Goel said.

Giving a breakup of the deal, Amit Dixit, senior managing director and head of private equity at Blackstone India told reporters in a con-call Monday evening that "based on the open offer subscription, the purchase price will vary between Rs 2,157 crore and Rs 3,211 crore ($310 million to $462 million)."

The sale expected to be completed in the coming few months, subject to customary closing conditions and approvals. The private equity fund will pay Rs 134 a share to acquire a 51 percent stake from Ashok Goel Trust, and will launch an open offer for an additional 26 percent at Rs 139.19 a share, Essel Propack said.

 Blackstone snaps up Essel Propack for Rs 3,211 cr, acquires majority stake at Rs 134 per share

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Dixit said the discussions were on for months between the two parties. After the deal, Goel, who is currently the managing director, will retain 6 percent in the company and become an advisor, but the rest of the senior management will continue under the new owner. Besides, Goel will get Rs 16 crore each for the next five years or Rs 80 crore cumulatively as an advisor to the company and Blackstone.

It can be noted that Goel's elder brother Chandra is passing through financial difficulties due to some bets taken on asset-heavy new businesses have gone awry, and is also looking at selling a part of his flagship business to pay lenders and has a consolidated debt of Rs 17,174 crore.

When asked if the proceeds would be utilised to reduce the debt of the group company, he categorically said," Essel Propack, Ashok Goel Trust are not financially, commercially part of the Essel group."

Goel said the proceeds from the deal will be used to strengthen his amusement park under Essel World at Gorai in the northwestern suburbs of the megapolis, and the nearby Water Kingdom. Some of the proceeds will also be used for charity, he added.

"We have been looking for a suitable partner and I am delighted we have found that in Blackstone who can continue the legacy and can maintain continuity of the management and customers and all other stakeholders," Goel, who is the managing director of the company said.

The 37-year-old Essel Propack employs over 3,150 in across its 20 facilities in 10 countries, and manufactures 7 billion laminated tubes annually which are used in the FMCG, pharma and packaged food industries. PWC, Khaitan &Co and Baker McKenzie acted as advisors to sellers and its affiliates, while KPMG, Trilegal and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett acted as advisors to Blackstone.

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Updated Date: Apr 23, 2019 10:25:59 IST