Non-resident Indian entrepreneur Ravendrar Kumar Rishi's UK-based Vectra Group, teaming up with a clutch of private equity investors, has acquired an 80.5 per cent stake in Czech truck maker Tatra a.s. for $57.8 million in addition to Vectra's 11 percent acquired three years ago.
Rishi's company has a 50-50 joint venture in India called Tatra Vectra Motors. Tatra a.s. makes heavy-duty trucks used in mining, construction and the military.
''This acquisition will enable us to build a global automotive business,'' Rishi, who would be the chairman of the Tatra board, said in a statement.
Vectra and associates acquired their majority stake from US-based construction equipment firm Terex Corp. The private equity investors are KBC PE, the private equity arm of Belgian Bank KBC, which will hold 20 per cent, and American investors Sam Eyde (31 per cent) and Ron Adams (7.5 per cent), who has invested through his firm, Meadow Hill.
The announcement of the deal was delayed as group firm as Rishi's Global Vectra Helicorp was in the midst of an initial public offer (IPO) last month.
With a history of more than 150 years, Tatra makes heavy-duty, all-wheel-drive off-road trucks, chassis-cabs and special vehicles that offer good mobility and robustness.
The consortium plans to develop Tatra's truck business by launching new models, said group director Jojo Alexander. Tatra currently makes around 1500 niche trucks a year to generate sales of $255 million.
The $400 million Vectra Group has most of its business interests in India. Besides the joint venture (Tatra Vectra Motors), it has another venture with Terex, Terex Vectra. Global Vectra Helicorp offers offshore helicopter services to oil exploration companies such as ONGC, Cairn and Reliance.