Aditya Birla Nuvo announced today that it will sell its carbon black business, Hi Tech Carbon, to another Aditya Birla Group holding company called SKI Carbon Black (India) for Rs 1,451 crore. The move is widely seen as an attempt by the Kumar Mangalam Birla-controlled group to consolidate its carbon black business under one roof as a precursor to a global listing. The sale was aimed at reducing debt and follows a decision by the company’s Committee of Directors that it would be “extremely challenging” for Nuvo to become a global leader as tire companies prefer global suppliers while Nuvo’s Hi Tech Carbon subsidiary produces only at three plants in India. SKI Carbon Black (India) is the India arm of the group’s Mauritus-based holding company for the carbon black business.
The signs of consolidation were visible in December 2011 when the Birla group had unified its global carbon black business under one roof, forming an organizational structure to cut costs and take advantage of the worldwide leadership in the business. The Birla Group has some 2 million tonnes of capacity for carbon black, including Hi Tech Carbon in India, Alexandria Carbon Black in Egypt, Thai Carbon Black in Thailand, Liaoning Carbon Black in China, and Colombian Chemicals, which is based in the US but has global operations in carbon black.