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Wimco Limited
Sector:Others Others - Miscella - Others
Market Lot: 1Face Value: 1ISIN Demat: INE333A01025
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Business Profile
Wimco Ltd was incorporated in 1923 under the name Western India Match Company as an affiliate of Swedish Match AB. In 1991, Swedish Match AB sold its holdings to the NRI group of the Jatias. Subsequently, Swedish Match decided to focus on developing a strong market for designated products in selected pockets. As a part of this strategy, Swedish Match tied up with the Jatia Group in December 1997 to jointly develop and expand business in India.

The company manufactures safety matches, salt, packaging machines, processing foods and fruits, coated metal etc. Wimco dominates the organised market for matches in India with brands like Home-lite and Ship. In 1995, Wimco embarked on a Rs 2000-mn diversification into food processing, oleo-resins and fibre-boards. Assam Match Co Ltd was amalgamated with the company in 1993. The company´s plants are at Dhubri (Assam), Calcutta (West Bengal), Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh) and Chennai (Tamil Nadu), all producing matches. Another plant at Ambarnath (Maharashtra) produces sodium chlorate, potassium chlorate, matches, potassium and sodium.

Recent Developments
Wimco informed the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) that a lock-out has been declared at the company`s manufacturing facility at Chennai with effect from June 11, 2002. Work at the safety-match making unit of Wimco Ltd in Chennai has been affected by workers` strike in the past in around Jan-Feb, 2002.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India(Sebi) has asked match maker Wimco`s Swedish parent to make an open offer to the domestic shareholders of the company. The Swedish company had acquired 21.98% stake in Wimco in Sept`00 ,following which Sebi had issued a show-cause notice to the company for violation of takeover code. The foreign company which had acquired 1,13,82,800 shares of Wimco`s equity,will now have to make an offer at Rs35 per share. Sebi has also directed the company to pay an interest of 15 percent from Jan 27, 2001 till the actual pay is made to the investors.

Wimco informed the BSE that the scheme of amalgamation as sanctioned by the Bombay High Court has become effective from Monday, May 13, 2002 and consequently Wimco Greenbelts Ltd and Gladhill Trading Ltd stand dissolved without winding up. Wimco had earlier informed the BSE that the Bombay High Court had sanctioned the scheme of amalgamation for merger of Wimco Greenbelts Ltd and Gladhill Trading Ltd with Wimco Seedlings Ltd, the wholly owned subsidiaries of the company. However, the scheme will be effective on the date of filing of the certified copies of orders passed by the high court with the Registrar of Companies, Maharashtra.

Wimco informed the BSE that the company has divested its entire stake comprising of 50,000 shares of the face value of Singapore $1 each in the wholly owned subsidiary abroad, Wimco International Pte Ltd, Singapore. The consideration amount of Singapore $50,000 equivalent to Rs 13,04,000, was received by the company on February 28, 2002.

Future Plans
While the core business continues to face declining demand and competition from small-scale sector, diversification into other businesses such as engineering and foods have also continued to be a drag on its profitability. The company has taken a decision to concentrate on its core business. As such, the food business, which has had an adverse effect on profitability is proposed to be divested.

In the competitive business environment with stagnation in the overall match market, increased LPG connections leading to higher usage of kitchen lighters and increase in excise duty, the ongoing focus will be to improve sales product mix for better realisation and profitability, reduce funds blocked in working capital more particularly raw material inventories and continue vigorously with measures to reduce indirect costs.
In Brief

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