WL Ross and Co. Llc, global distressed assets and special situations investor are currently in talks with China’s Shandong Ruyi group to sell its entire stake in textile maker OCM India Pvt. Ltd. The talks are at the term-sheet stage. If they prove to be conclusive, the deal is likely to be finalised in the coming weeks. The size of the transaction was not immediately known. Founded in 1924, OCM India Pvt. Ltd (formerly known as OCM India Ltd) started as a textile manufacturer and forayed into worsted fabric in 1972. The company, which has a manufacturing facility in Amritsar in Punjab, is known for its tweed and jacket suiting materials.
OCM India was the first investment in the country by the private equity (PE) fund founded by billionaire investor and current US Commerce Secretary Wilbur L. Ross Jr. The PE fund bought the stake from the company’s lenders for close to $37 mn in cash in 2006.
A senior OCM India official said that WL Ross is in talks with potential buyers to sell its entire stake and is currently evaluating bids. The acquisition of OCM India was part of WL Ross’s global push into the textile sector in 2003 when it bought Cone Mills and Burlington Industries to create one of the largest textile companies in the world, International Textile Group (ITG), with investments in the US, Latin America, China, Vietnam and Nicaragua.
ITG’s products include denim, synthetics, worsted wool and cotton fabrics for apparel and interior furnishings, which are produced, marketed and sold globally. In 2016, ITG was acquired by Platinum Equity from WL Ross & Co. OCM India was not part of ITG.
OCM India’s acquisition was the first major buyout in India by a global distressed assets investor WL Ross, who is once again looking at deals in the distressed assets space in India and has been in talks with promoters and banks for turnaround opportunities.
Shandong Ruyi Group based in Jining established in 1972 is one of the largest textile makers in China has a presence in North America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. It owns or operates well-known global brands such as Taylor & Lodge and Harris Tweed. It also has partnerships with global players such as Itochu, Japan.
Shandong Ruyi Science and Technology Co. Ltd is already present in India and has a joint venture with Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). The companies tied up in 2014 to bring together RIL’s Vimal brand and Ruyi’s worsted suiting brand Georgia Gullini. As part of the agreement, RIL transferred its textile business to a newly incorporated company while remaining the majority stakeholder.