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Dec 22, 2008

Matrix May Enter Coimbatore

Hyderabad-based Matrix Agri Sciences, which is setting up three granular biofertiliser plants, is hopeful of securing Rs 50 crore from a commercial bank in Bahrain and a few high networth individuals.The bank is likely to invest about $5 million (Rs 25 crore) in the granular biofertiliser business while the remaining would come from a consortium that will be formed by a few HNIs in Oman, UK and the West Indies, said Matrix group chairman and managing director V Siva Prasad.


“The bank officials will visit Hyderabad in the first week of January to discuss the modality. The company will divest about 15 per cent equity for the investment coming from the bank and the HNI consortium,” he added. The company, which started operations in 1999 with chemical fertiliser and allied products, has launched granulated biofertilisers in 2008 under the Swarnalakshmi brand. Within a year, it sold about 10,000 tonne. Matrix has set a target of having a capacity of 400,000 tonne granulated biofertilisers.


As part of this, it is setting up three manufacturing plants, each with a capacity of over 125,000 tonne in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand. Of the Rs 50 crore, the company will invest about Rs 30 crore for setting up the plants and the remaining will be used as working capital. The company has purchased about 30 acre in Ongole for seaport connectivity of which about five acre will be used for the manufacturing plant. For the remaining two locations, it is in talks with a few sick fertiliser companies in Coimbatore, Karnataka and Maharashtra for buying them out. “We are keen on buying a few sick units to start our scaling operations immediately,” Prasad said.



The company expects to close the deals in a fortnight and get the manufacturing plants ready by the next kharif season in June, he said. According to him, granular biofertiliser has a market potential of Rs 20,000 crore and the company is targeting to tap about 5 per cent of it in five years. The company tied up with National Innovation Foundation in 2007 to develop and commercialise its 13 molecules. It is also working with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics. Under the agreement, Matrix will use the facilities at Icrisat while the latter will get a small stake in the company.

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