Interested in the lubricant industry in Asia?

Subscribe now to Lube Report Asia. This FREE weekly e-newsletter features breaking news and base oil price reports.

August 16, 2016

Volume 7 Issue 8

    View Printer Friendly Article Bookmark and Share

Standard Greases Gets Nod from Tide Water

India’s Tide Water Oil conceded a more substantial title to its largest shareholder, naming Standard Greases & Specialties Pvt. “joint-promoter” alongside state-owned Andrew Yule Group. The reclassification may boost morale, but isn’t expected to affect management, according to company officials.

In an Aug. 11 regulatory filing on national stock exchanges, Tide Water Oil (India) Ltd.’s board of directors announced that the board had agreed to reclassify the shareholding statuses of Standard Greases and one of its subsidiaries, Janus Consolidated Finance Pvt. – with the latter being bumped from “public shareholder” to “part of promoter group.”

In the same filing, the Kolkata-based lubricants supplier also noted that director Shri Kallol Datta had resigned. An official told Lube Report Asia that Datta resigned in conjunction with his retirement from Andrew Yule and had not been asked to stepped down.

In Sept. 2015, Mumbai-based Standard Greases, in cooperation with Janus, Alpha TC Holdings Pte., and Tata Capital Growth Fund, made an open offer to pay up to Rs 377 crore (Rs 3.77 billion or U.S. $57 million) for 226,512 shares of Tide Water stock – enough to give it majority control. Standard Greases later increased the per share price of its offer, boosting the overall value of the bid to Rs 397 crore.

Together, Standard Greases and Janus already owned 24.93 percent of the company. Tide Water’s promoter and then-largest owner with a 26.22 percent stake, public conglomerate Andrew Yule, opposed the takeover. State-owned insurance companies, Life Insurance Corp. and United India Insurance, owned 4.22 percent and 6.88 percent, respectively. Retail investors owned 24.32 percent.

India’s Ministry of Finance also challenged the possible buyout, asking the two state-owned insurance companies with stakes in Tide Water Oil not to participate in the bid. However, when the offer closed on Dec. 30, 2015, Standard Greases’ and Janus’ shares amounted to 29.38 percent. While short of its goal, the move still made the company Tide Water’s largest shareholder.

Currently, Standard Greases holds 27.69 percent of Tide Water, and Janus holds 1.69 percent, according to its shareholding pattern report for the quarter-ended June 30. “Standard Greases has already garnered more than 29 percent in the company along with its subsidiary Janus. The board has decided to call them co-promoter, as they already have two representatives on the board from March 2016 following the open offer,” Managing Director R.N. Ghosal told Lube Reporter Asia. “Earlier, we had one promoter,” he added. “Now, we have two.”

Management and control of the company is unchanged, according to Ghosal. There is a strategic synergy between Tide Water and Standard Greases, the largest grease manufacturer in India and one of the largest in Asia, Ghosal said.

Standard Greases concurred that the change had yet to affect day-to-day operations. “In terms of management control, the situation is status quo; things will evolve gradually,” Director Ketan Vinod Vyas said to a reporter over the weekend. He noted that the board is still taking stock of the situation and that it would be premature to comment on Standard Greases’ future strategy.

The move may boost the company’s morale, according to Priyank Chandra, a research analyst with Dolat Capital. There will not be much impact on administration, he said, but Standard may begin asserting itself, which may play out in the form of aggressive marketing strategies aimed at capturing more market share for Tide Water’s Veedol brand of lubricants.

Established in 1983, Standard Greases & Specialties Pvt. is the largest private-label grease manufacturer in India.