Leading paper manufacturers look to acquire SPM

Leading paper manufacturers look to acquire SPM

Leading paper companies are interested in acquiring Telengana-based Sirpur Paper Mills, which is currently undergoing insolvency proceedings at the Hyderabad bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). SPM is currently owned by Ranjan Kumar Poddar and Devashish Poddar who took over management from the CK Birla group in 1994, which purchased the company in 1950. Said to be in the fray are paper manufacturers who in the main are enjoying some buoyancy in the domestic paper market. According to the financial press, these include the ITC Group’s paper division, JK Paper, West Coast Paper Mills and the Kohinoor Group.

The deadline for receiving expressions of interest ended in December, and the deadline for binding bids is later this month. So far none of the companies said to be interested have answered queries by the financial press as to their interest.

The last available revenue figures for Sirpur that are available on the Moneycontrol website are for the financial year ending 31 March 2014, which show a revenue of Rs. 430.59 crore with a loss of Rs. 90.98 crore. The company which increased its annual capacity to 138,300 tons is said to have 3,000 employees. The mill shut operations in 2014 after reporting a loss in successive quarters, for which the management blamed rising raw material costs. Apparently, the Telangana government has assured that all necessary efforts would be undertaken to revive the ailing company.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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