Emerson to Acquire India’s Virgo Valves for $450mn 1

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Thursday, September 26th, 2013
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American engineering giant Emerson has inked an agreement to acquire India’s Virgo Valves and Controls, LTD., one of the world’s leading manufacturers of ball valves and automation systems.

An inside source with direct knowledge of the deal told India’s The Economic Times that Emerson Group would pay a consideration¬† $450 million for the privately held company, which is headquartered in the western Indian city of Pune.

Virgo Valves specializes in the manufacture a variety of valves for the global oil, gas, power and mining industries, including ball valves, high performance butterfly valves and severe-service valves for critical applications.

The company commenced operation in 1986 and currently has manufacturing facilities in Europe, the United States and India. Its annual sales figure reached $250 million last year, over 80 per cent of which was derived from overseas operations in more than 60 different countries.

Virgo had previously attempted to launch IPO’s on Indian stock exchanges in 2008 and 2010, yet both listing efforts were scuppered when company founders failed to receive what they considered a fair value for the company.

Steve Sonnenberg, Emerson’s executive vice president and head of the group’s Emerson Process Management unit, said the acquisition would bolster Emerson’s own $24- billion Fischer control valve business

“Virgo’s leadership in the engineered, on-off valve market is a great strategic fit within our business and strongly complements our Fisher(R) control valve business,” Sonnenberg said in an official statement. “We are excited about the synergy between our two companies and the opportunities for global business growth.”

Mahesh Desai, chairman and co-founder of Virgo, said the partnership would serve to bolster Virgo’s efforts to establish itself as leading international engineering brand.

“The alliance with Emerson, and in particular the Fisher line of products, is a continuation of our growth as a global brand,” Desai said.

Analysts say the acquisition is part of a surge in foreign investment headed for India, with inbound deals during the first half of 2013 nearly doubling in value compared to the same period the year previously.

According to data provided by global consultancy Grant Thornton India saw 65 deals worth $4.11 billion in the first half of 2013, as compared to 76 deals worth $2.97 billion during the first half of 2012.

The recent depreciation of the rupee has whetted the interest of investors seeking to establish a foothold in one of the world’s largest emerging economies.

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