Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ess Dee to set up packaging plant in Sikkim

Dutta Group of Companies’ Integrated foil and packaging subsidiary, Ess Dee Aluminium, is setting up a plant in Sikkim.

The new facility, set up at a cost of about Rs 30 crore, is expected to be start operations soon. Sudip Dutta, MD, Dutta Group of companies denied commenting on the development.

Fidelity International, the US-based private equity firm has a nine per cent holding in Ess Dee Aluminium. Principal PNB holds a minority stake in the company.

The new plant would be dedicated to making specialty packaging foils and other packaging material for the pharmaceutical industry.

The company currently has a market capitalisation of Rs 840 crore after it debuted on the Bombay Stock Exchange on December 28, 2006.

The Sikkim plant would be the ninth for the company, and is expected to cater to the demand of the pharmaceuticals industry in the neighbouring regions, said sources on condition of anonymity.

Ess Dee has facilities in Daman, Goa, Thane and Baddi (Himachal Pradesh). As a good number of pharmaceutical units operate out of these places, proximity is likely to help the company generate more sales and keep logistics cost low.

Packaging for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) is the largest segment in the country while the pharmaceutical packaging segment remains largely untapped.

Several innovations are taking place in packaging, especially in the over-the-counter (OTC) segment. This presents a good opportunity for Ess Dee, according to analysts.