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May 21, 2009

Shanthi Gears - speculation over possible takeover

An announcement by city-based Shanthi Gears in the exchanges has triggered speculations in the market about a possible change ofmanagement in the country’s second largest industrial gearbox manufacturing company.The company informed the exchanges on Tuesday that it is in the process of revamping and restructuring the entire operational and organisational structure. This may lead to slowdown in production in all units for a short tenure, it added.

Shanthi Gears manufactures a wide range of power transmission products including gears, gearboxes, geared motors and gear assemblies. It reported a turnover of Rs 245.3 crore in 2007-08.Company sources said, all top officials including GM production and administration manager have resigned and CMD P Subramanian is steering the affairs of the company.

According to market, the company had few weeks reduced its workforce by offering VRS to 937 people. It had a strength 1500 employees.Sources at Labour Commissioner office
said they haven’t heard any news from Shanthi Gears. “There has been no major dispute in Shanthi Gears in the last five years,” Mr P Marimuthu, Deputy Commissioner of Labour, Coimbatore told .

However, there is speculation in the market that the company is in talks with L&T to sell stakes. L&T, which already has a big manufacturing unit in Malumichampatti, near Coimbatore is a leader number in the manufacture of low voltage switchgears.When contacted L&T Media Relations chief Mr Debojyoti Chatterjee denied any such talks. “L&T does not comment on market speculations,” he said in his reply to the mail sent by ET. Shanthi Gears CMD Mr Subramanian couldn’t be contacted for his comments.

Earlier in August 2008, there was a rumour of Suzlon Energy acquiring majority stake in Shanthi Gears. But the company had denied entering into any agreement with Suzlon.In November 2008, CMD Mr Subramanian in a statement said the company had redeemed the outstanding FCCB liability of $5.30 million.The company’s board is to meet on May 27 to consider and take on record the audited financial results for the year ended March 31, 2009.

Stated as a private limited company in 1972, Shanthi Gears was converted into a public limited company on March 10, 1986.Shares of the company lost –2.90, or –8.31%, to settle at Rs 32.00 at BSE on Tuesday

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