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WL Ross & Co seeking some opportunities to invest in Indian textile

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2014-07-30 12:30:00 – New Delhi

After the Narendra Modi government laid out proposals in the recent budget to revive the sector. US-based WL Ross & Co, specializing in restructuring financially distressed companies globally, is looking at some opportunities to invest in India's textile business

David Wax, managing director of WL Ross, said that the company currently owns a 94% stake in OCM a 90-year-old fabric manufacturer and is exploring other investment opportunities as there are terrific opportunities with 1.25 billion people and a growing middle class in India.

Invesco, the holding company of WL Ross, set-up in Hyderabad was committed to this market, but the details of its strategy and the value of investment proposed remains unveiled. Wax is also optimistic about the new government in India.

In the budget, finance minister Arun Jaitley unveiled a host of proposals to boost the textile sector, including a provision of Rs 200 crore for setting up mega-clusters at Varanasi, Bareilly, Lucknow, Surat, Kutch, Bhagalpur, Mysore and one in Tamil Nadu.

The textile sector currently contributes 14% to industrial production, 4% to gross domestic product and 11% to India's export earnings.

In the past seven years, WL Ross has brought $350 million into the country.

Ross acquired the stake in OCM in 2007 from the SK Birla Group, the second major Investment in India after SpiceJet. It sold its 30% stake in SpiceJet in 2010, making a profit of more than 50%. OCM is being revived to become "a customer-centric lifestyle brand from being just a fabric manufacturer, said Nitin Jain, managing director.

OCM has joined hands with Italian designer M Cristina Fedrian to launch a ready-to-wear range for both men and women, including suits, jackets and saris, besides selling expensive products such as ties, pocket squares and fabrics from Italy.

OCM is expected to see its best quarter ever in terms of financial performance, driven by a slew of initiatives taken to revive the company. These include making international design and distribution tie-ups and creating by marketing platforms such as mobile apps and digital characters to connect with the youth.

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