India’s Grasim to raise $481 million to pay down debt, fund paints journey

BENGALURU (Reuters) -India’s Grasim Industries said on Monday it will raise up to 40 billion rupees ($480.64 million) through a rights issue as it looks to pay down debt and become the country’s second-biggest paints company.

The fund raise at the Aditya Birla Group-owned company, which has already raised money through debt earlier this year, comes as the textile-to-chemicals maker plans to enter the paint business under the brand name ‘Birla Opus’ in the fourth-quarter of fiscal 2024.

“The capital outlay for the company to establish itself as India’s second largest decorative paints player is on track”, the company said on Monday.

In that industry, Birla Opus will compete with Asian Paints, which controls nearly half the country’s market share.

Grasim had said it will invest 100 billion rupees towards setting up its paints business.

Shares of Grasim have risen 14.5% so far this year, outperforming the bluechip Nifty 50 index, which rose 9%.

($1 = 83.2230 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Ashish Chandra in Bengaluru)