WPIL sees UK unit turn­around this year

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - Su­mit Moitra KOLKATA

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.

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