Mahindra submits letter of intent for Ssangyong

Mahindra submits letter of intent for Ssangyong

Mumbai: Mahindra & Mahindra, India’s largest utility vehicles and tractor maker, on Saturday said it had submitted a letter of intent to make a bid for Korean sport utility vehicle (SUV) maker Ssangyong Motor.

On Friday, sources had told Reuters that Mahindra and Renault had both submitted letters of intent for Ssangyong.

“We have submitted an expression of interest for Ssangyong. If we are one of the companies shortlisted, then we will undertake a due diligence," Pawan Goenka, president of Mahindra’s automative sector told reporters.

“We have to look at the economic viability of the company and how it fits into our strategy before we make a bid," Goenka said.

Mahindra has been on an acquisition spree lately as it seeks to expand its portfolio. In April, it saud it was buying out Renault’s stake in a joint venture making Logan sedans in India, its first entry into the passenger car segment.

Earlier this week, it bought a majority stake in maker of electrical cars Reva Electric Car Company for an undisclosed sum, giving it a foothold in the small but growing electric vehicles industry which is attracting global majors such as General Motors and Toyota.

Mahindra reported a 36.4% rise in net profit for March quarter to Rs570 crore rupees ($123 million), beating market forecasts of Rs470 crore, on robust sales of utility vehicles and tractors.

Net sales rose to Rs5,280 crore, a jump of 45.9% over the corresponding quarter in the previous year.

Rise in raw material prices and expected increase in interest rates would be the challenges for the company in the current financial year, Goenka said.

“Raw material prices are almost as high as they were in August 2008. The first six months... we expect that they will go up and then come down in the second half," Goenka said.

For the next three years, the company will be spending Rs4,500 crore, of which 75% will be for the automative sector.

The company is also all set to launch a pick-up truck in the US towards the end of this year, after getting regulatory approvals expected in July.

Shares in Mahindra, valued at nearly $7 billion, have risen less than 1% so far this year, compared to the main index which has fallen 3.4%.

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