WPIL sees UK unit turnaround this year
WPIL Ltd, industrial pumps maker, expects to have a strong foothold in the exports market following two back-toback acquisitions of overseas facilities — Sterling Pumps of Australia and Mathers Foundry of UK — in April and July.
The move will also help the company enter sectors such as oil & gas and nuclear energy.
The Kolkata-based company, now owned by the Agarwal family, is also planning to expand its existing joint venture with ClydeUnion of UK by setting up a plant at Nagpur to churn out more pumps for the thermal power sector.
“We are now trying to grow our international business and export more. We have been exporting for the last 30 years and we have realised that being present globally is very important. Just exporting from India wouldn’t help us any more. By being there with local engineering backup is something we need to have,” managing director Prakash Agarwal told DNA.
BSE-listed WPIL on July 8 said it has acquired from the Midlands-based Westley Group, the £29.7 million Manchester-based Mathers Foundry, a steel foundry, which supplies castings for pumps used in oil & gas, nuclear, paper, chemical and power generation.
The historic Mathers Foundry traces its origin in the early days of the industrial revolution when, in 1817, William Mather of “Mather & Platt” fame started a rollerturning facility in Manchester. In recent times the company changed hands frequently, thrice in the last three years.
“The business will contin- ue with its existing management team. Our main aim now is to smoothen the Mathers’ operations and then we would be consolidating and strengthening. This year it’s going to make a profit,” Agarwal said.
Earlier in April, WPIL acquired 51% stake in Sterling Pumps of Australia, which specialises in making turbine pumps and submersible pumps for irrigation, process and mining industries.
The acquisitions would also help WPIL to venture into supplying industries such as oil & gas exploration and nuclear power generation. Mathers pumps have been approved by The National Nuclear Safety Administration of China.
“In India we do not have many opportunities in these sectors and we are now trying to get into them by making ourselves technologically updated,” Agarwal said.
These apart, WPIL is expanding its a joint venture with ClydeUnion of Glasgow, called Clyde Pumps India.
“We have been making pumps for the power sector but there are certain types which we were not making ourselves, so we have formed this JV. Clyde is also setting up another plant at Nagpur, which would focus on supplying large pumps for the power sector,” he said.