Maruti Suzuki plans investor roadshow in Gujarat plant next month

Maruti Suzuki plans investor roadshow in Gujarat plant next monthCountry’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India plans to kickstart an investor roadshow next month to explain its move for letting parent Suzuki Motor Corp own upcoming plant in Gujarat.

The Indian car market leader for the second time would approach global and domestic investors through road shows. Last year also the company’s management led by Chairman RC Bhargava along with senior officials had met institutional investors in the US, the UK, Asia and India.

“We are planning these roadshows probably in October and November subject to investors agreeing to dates which are convenient to them and once the road shows are on, the dates of the polling (on Gujarat plant) can also be announced,” Bhargava told PTI.

The company plans to hold roadshows in India and other countries, including Singapore and the UK.

“The main places where our investors are Hong Kong, Singapore and London and in these roadshows the purpose is to clarify to the investors any question any doubts, any issues that they may have about the arrangements which are being made for contract manufacturing of cars in the Gujarat plant,” Bhargava said.

The company’s management would also meet investors in the country in various cities, including Mumbai, he added.

Earlier this month, Bhargava had said that with regulatory norms in place, MSI expects the delayed minority shareholders’ voting on allowing parent Suzuki to own and invest in the Gujarat plant to happen soon.

MSI had initially planned to set up a new plant in Gujarat, its third, to meet growing demand. However, in January last year, parent Suzuki Motor Corporation announced it would invest $488 million to build the Gujarat plant.

Opposing the move, Maruti’s institutional investors approached capital markets regulator SEBI, seeking its intervention to safeguard the interests of minority shareholders.

Private sector mutual funds and insurance companies, which own almost 7% of the company, led the opposition.

Later, under pressure from institutional investors, Maruti decided to seek the approval of minority shareholders after tweaking some of the earlier proposals for the Gujarat plant, which SMC had decided to take over.

The Gujarat plant is envisaged to have a total installed capacity of 7.5 lakh units annually. It is expected to be operational by May 2017. Currently, the company’s Gurgaon and Manesar facilities put together produce 1.5 million units annually.

MSI, which currently accounts for 40% of SMC’s total sales, is expected to increase it to 60% by 2020.

MSI has set a target of achieving two million sales annually by 2020. Last year in August, Bhargava had said that the company would need to double the number of its models to 25, including entries into SUV and LCV segments.