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Friday, May 31, 2013

Max calls off Rs 540 crore Speciality Films sale

An edited version of this story first appeared in DNA Money edition on Friday, May 31, 2013.

Max India founder and chairman Analjit Singh’s plans to raise Rs 540 crore by selling Max Speciality Films (MSF) has fallen through owing to valuation mis-match. MSF is in the business of manufacturing flexible polymer films for multitudinous applications in food, non food, and industrial packaging, leather coating films.

Confirming the development, Mohit Talwar, deputy managing director, Max India, said the speciality films’ sale deal has been called off. “The non-binding term sheet we’d got into for our plastics business is unfortunately not going through. There were valuations differences and this business has gone through a bit of a struggle given the market conditions as a result of which we did not go ahead with the transaction,” said Talwar.

In September 2012, Max India had said that the decision to sell MSF was is in line with the group's strategy to focus on service oriented businesses of life. The company board had then approved the proposal for sale of 100% equity to Treofan Germany GmbH & Co - a German global technology leader for biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film. Established in 1990, MSF had registered revenue of Rs 703 crore, a growth of 77% over its revenue in the previous fiscal i.e. FY11. Its earnings ebitda also witnessed an increase of 50% over previous fiscal to reach Rs 77 crore.

Talwar added that the speciality films business has enough tailwinds as a result the company has now decided to add another line. “An approval for the same has already been received from the board,” he said. The equity component for this business, according to Talwar, is not significant and the company management is working towards a situation where there are possibilities of going in for part or full monetisation through a strategic investor.

In another development, IFC Washington (existing investor in Max Healthcare) is set to increase its stake in Max Healthcare from the current 2.3% to 7.5%. IFC also holds some shares in the healthcare vertical.

According to Talwar, Max India has got into an understanding with IFC Washington for a partial conversion of the preference shares into equity. “This transaction places a value of Max Healthcare at about Rs 2000 crore of pre-money. What this really means is that it cleans up the balance sheet, improves debt-equity ratio and also brings in some amount of liquidity in the company. As a result of this transaction, our other joint venture partner (Life Healthcare) who gets diluted, will be topping up upto 26%,” said Talwar.

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