Promoter Boosts Stake in Gulf Oil Lubricants

Gulf Oil International (Mauritius) Inc. has acquired an additional stake in Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd., bringing its total share to 71.48 percent. The promoters move comes as construction of the companys second blending plant nears completion.

On Aug. 4, Gulfs promoter acquired 500,000 shares of the Mumbai-based lubricant maker at an average price of Rs 808.15 (U.S. $12.59) per share. The purchase was made through an open market transaction, according to a regulatory filing.

The promoter, part of the Hinduja Group, then further boosted its stake in the company by 0.70 percent late last week by acquiring an additional 347,437 shares.

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Before the acquisitions this month, the promoter group owned 69.78 percent of the Indian lubricant company. The remaining stake was held publically by individuals through mutual funds, foreign portfolio investors and financial institutions.

Gulf Oil Lubricants currently supplies a wide range of automotive and industrial lubricants and greases across India from its 90,000 metric tons per year blending plant in Silvassa.

The company is building a 50,000 tons per year plant in the southern Indian city of Chennai with an investment of about Rs 180 crore (Rs 1.8 billion, or approximately U.S.$26.7 million). The plant is nearing completion, and Gulf Oil projects it will start operations there by the end of the calendar year. The company expects the new location to help it save on freight costs, tap opportunities around Chennai and serve the needs of consumers in the southern market, which accounts for approximately 30 percent of its sales.

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