Avantha Group is set to sell its agro chemicals unit, Solaris ChemTechNSE 0.00 %, to Agrocel Industries for about Rs. 800 crore as the Gautam Thapar-controlled firm is selling its non-core businesses to repay some outstanding debt.
Agrocel, part of the Shroff Group of Companies which includes Excel Industries, is expected to sign definitive agreement in the coming week and an announcement is due before year-end, multiple sources with knowledge of the matter told.
The transaction is expected to bring some relief to Avantha Group, which has total debt of more than Rs 12,500 crore. Lenders have already dragged one of the group companies, Bilt Graphic Papers, which borrowed close to Rs. 7,000 crore, to NCLT to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against the company. “The group has been desperately trying to sell this asset for a long time. They did try a deal with a strategic US investor, but it couldn’t complete it. However, this time, they struck a deal with Agrocel and a definitive agreement will be signed within a week,” said one of the sources mentioned above.
Avantha group did not respond to emailed queries until press timeW. Avantha sold part of Solaris to the Aditya Birla Group in May 2013. After that deal, which included the chlor-alkali and phosphoric acid divisions, Solaris is left with bromine manufacturing and distribution. The group had signed a deal to sell the remaining company to USbased Chemtura Corporation, but the transaction was not completed.