The Bhartias (?) and why they want to sell Kharsang

Vol 3, PW 20 (27 Oct 99) Exploration & Production

Two theories explain why the Bhartias want to sell their stake in Kharsang.

The first is to exploit the current upturn in crude oil prices. A second, more likely explanation, is because of restructuring in the family business and a wish to sell unrelated assets.

Prior to acquiring Kharsang, the Bhartias had a small company that provided engineering consultancy to rig operators. Kharsang was the groups first foray into oil exploration.

The Bhartias have diversified interests in chemicals, turnkey projects, construction, oil and gas, trading, information technology and financial services industries. It employs over 3,500 people.

The Groups turnover in 1999 is estimated to be over $125m. Vam Organic Chemicals, the flagship company, is a leading manufacturer of bulk organic chemicals, specialty chemicals, specialty polymers, adhesives, industrial gases, wood finishes, construction chemicals and fertilisers.

Set up in 1978, its manufacturing facilities are at Gajraula in Uttar Pradesh, North India. The organisation reckons it owns one of the largest distilleries in Asia and is acclaimed as one of the most reliable players in the Indian chemical industry.

It has signed strategic alliances with the following companies:- Union Construction AS, Denmark Kinetic Technologies International, Netherlands AIA Capital Corporation Limited Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Co, USA Allied Signal, USA Bell Helicopter Textron Inc, USA Shyam Bhartia is chairman and managing director of VAM Organic Chemicals. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and Chairman of the Indo-Israel Business Alliance.

Hari Bhartia, a chemical engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, is the co-chairman and managing director of VAM Organic Chemicals. He is also Chairman, Board of Governors, Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur