Kolkata: The BM Khaitan-led Williamson Magor Group has mandated Kotak Mahindra Bank to find a strategic partner for its flagship Eveready Industries India Ltd (EIIL), a dry cell batteries and flashlights major, and is seeking a company valuation of Rs 3,000-4,000 crore, industry sources said here Friday.
The group, however has ‘no plans’ to completely exit from the company which had a topline of about Rs 1,450 crore last fiscal, and is expecting revenues of Rs 1,600 crore this year.
“We have mandated Kotak Mahindra for a strategic partner in Eveready for flashlights and battery business,” sources close to the development told this agency declining to be identified.
The Williamson Magor Group, however, is yet to decide if it will retain a controlling or a minority stake after Eveready’s restructuring, the same sources informed. It would depend on final negotiations, they added. The Khaitans presently hold 45 per cent stake in the company.
Of late, the management of Eveready Industries has been trying to convert itself into an FMCG company by diversifying into new areas such as electrical products, small appliances and lighting by following an ‘asset-light’ model.
The Khaitans acquired Eveready brand from Union Carbide Corporation in the early 1990s.
The Williamson Magor Group consists of the world’s largest bulk tea producer McLeod Russel, Kilburn Engineering and McNally Bharat. McLeod Russel has also been divesting many of its tea estates in India.