Italy’s Valagro plans India expansion

Speciality nutrients firm is exploring acquisitions, partnerships

Updated - May 26, 2018 09:20 pm IST

Published - May 26, 2018 08:56 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Seeking partners:  Valagro is in discussions with many firms in India, says COO Prem Warrior.

Seeking partners: Valagro is in discussions with many firms in India, says COO Prem Warrior.

Italian biostimulants and speciality nutrients firm Valagro is in talks with Indian companies to build partnerships or acquire them as it looks to expand footprint in the country.

“We are in discussions with multiple companies in India,” said Prem Warrior, COO of the Atessa-headquartered firm that had acquired a microbial firm in Hyderabad in 2015. He was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a company event in the city on Saturday.

Manufacturing plans

Valagro, which has manufacturing facilities at six locations globally, was also open to the idea of setting up a plant in India, he added. The firm has been selling products in India for more than a decade and the country figured among Valagro’s six priority markets, he said. It was, however, “hard to predict the timeline” by which it would establish a plant, he said, adding post the acquisition in 2015, it had invested more than €5 million in the country. “It is such a big country with a lot of opportunities... the volumes needed are substantial. We are definitely committed to expand our operations,” he said, pointing out the need to increase manufacturing capacity in multiple locations. Valagro, which is currently in south India, Maharashtra and Chattisgarh, would soon be entering the northern part of the country.

It would be looking for “critical partnerships... include acquisitions [too],” Mr. Warrior said. The Indian market’s contribution to the firm’s global turnover of $150 million was “pretty small... about 5%.”

Saying that the firm had been developing active agricultural products that help plants grow better, for the last 35 years, he said in India, it marketed 10 products and plans to unveil more. Products available in the country are for fruits and vegetables and the company is developing new products for other crops, such as corn and cotton.

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