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Govt eyes for JV partner in Scooters India; M&M in race

New Delhi : The government on Aug 26 said it is scouting for a joint venture partner for ailing Scooters India Ltd, which used to manufacture the classic Lambretta model, and is being eyed by Mahindra & Mahindra among others.

"We are going for a joint venture (for Scooters India) and there are many companies which have shown interest," Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh told reporters on the sidelines of SIAM function here.

When asked about the companies that have shown interest in forming a joint venture, he said, the major company is Mahindra & Mahindra and there are others also.

Mahindra & Mahindra President (Automotive and Farm Equipment) Pawan Goenka said: "We have discussed with Vilasrao Deshmukh about acquiring stake in Scooters India today morning. Beyond this I can't say anything now."

Besides, Rajkot-based three-wheeler maker Atul Auto, Bajaj Auto and Piaggio are learnt to be eyeing stake acquisition in Scooters India.

Atul Auto and Scooters India make similar products in terms of front engine three-wheelers, whereas Bajaj and Piaggio, the two other leading players, are focusing on rear engine options.

Deshmukh said that it is open for everyone. "Those who come out with some good package, they will be given the opportunity," he added. He said that generally the policy is such that the majority stake remains with the government.

The Lucknow-based Scooters India used to make the Lambretta model which it was forced to stop as it accumulated huge losses. The company then confined itself to the three-wheeler space.

Scooters India is a listed company with the government owning over 95 per cent. It posted Rs 22 crore loss in FY 2009-10. Its shares rose 4.92 per cent to Rs 43.75 mid-session on BSE today.
Posted On : 27 Aug 10
Govt eyes for JV partner in Scooters India; M&M in race
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