All in the game

Shamni Pande        Print Edition: December 16, 2007

The latest foray of Rs 1,000-crore Apollo International Ltd (AIL) is into logistics. Apollo Logi-Solutions (ALL) is the sixth diversification of AIL, which is a part of the $1.2-billion Apollo Group (that has major interests in tyres and healthcare).

ALL has already acquired prime space (60 acres of land) near Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, outside Mumbai. As part of its initiative to offer comprehensive services in container and freight station, ALL is seeking to tie up with a foreign partner for technical support, but only to set up its cold storage facility.

Raaja Kanwar
Raaja Kanwar
It will set up its CFS (container freight stations), warehousing, distribution and re-distribution services on its own. “We cannot announce any details as negotiations are on; also, this has been entirely financed by the Apollo Group. ALL is looking at an IPO (initial public offering) in 2011,” says Raaja Kanwar, MD, AIL.

ALL was set up in August 1994, as a 100 per cent subsidiary of Apollo Tyres, to lead the diversification forays of Apollo Group into new business opportunities worldwide. Subsequently the company ceased to be a subsidiary of Apollo Tyres. “AIL is a profit-making and dividend-paying company and enjoys the status of a government-recognised trading house,” says Kanwar.

ALL is engaged in the manufacture and export of tyres, tubes and flaps, exports of general commodi- ties and products, gaming, logistics and digitalisation of cinema theatres across the world. It’s six divisions are Tyre Tech Global (into tyre exports), UFO Moviez, ALL, Lottus (online lottery), International Business Division (into export of diverse commodities from construction material to automotive parts), and Tag Fashion (into leather).

While each of the businesses has established clout, it’s UFO Moviez that’s earned Kanwar all the visible spurs of late. And investors are seeing potential for returns; VC fund 3i infused $22 million into it, early this year. The company, alongside establishing presence in over 1,000 theatres across the country, is also foraying into global markets such as the US.

“We are looking at a profitsharing, private equity-sort of model for growth. For our logistics venture, we have this approach, and seek to rope in players who know the business and run it like their own enterprise, as they have stakes and we provide just the back-end support necessary to offer administration and the clout at relevant negotiations,” says Kanwar. ALL has roped in Capt. Kapil Anand who was formerly with Gateway Distriparks, and instrumental in setting up its operations. With such ‘IPO-able’ ventures in mind, AIL is targeting a turnover of Rs 3,000 crore by 2011.

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