Piramal Scooping Up Saint-Gobain Chunk

Ajay Piramal is closing in on the specialty bottles business of French glassmaking giant Saint-Gobain, called Desjonquères.

The deal, if it goes through, is estimated to be worth around €600 million, or over $750million.

Investment bankers are said to be working out the modalities in London currently.

Ajay Piramal, chairman of the group, refused to commentwhen contacted by DNA Money, calling it “media speculation”.

An email to Saint-Gobain Desjonqueres on Monday went unanswered.

Sources, however, said Vijay Shah, director of Gujarat Glass, a Piramal group firm that is one of India’s biggest specialty glass manufacturers, is spearheading the move which could end in a leveraged buyout. The acquisition will be made through Kojam Fininvest, the holding company of Gujarat Glass.

Kojam, a listed company, holds 54% in Gujarat Glass. Piramal Enterprises, the group’s holding company, in turn, holds 54% stake in Kojam.

In early October, Saint-Gobain decided to sell the specialty bottles unit Desjonquères, estimated to be worth €600 million (around Rs 3,400 crore). The business delivered sales of around €550 million in 2005, with production sites in France, Germany, Spain, the US, Brazil, China and Russia, backed by a global sales network.

Desjonquères and its subsidiaries are part of the Saint-Gobain group’s packaging sector, and develop, produce and sell specialty glass bottles for the cosmetics, pharmaceutical, liquor and high-end perfume industries.

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