India’s Maruti to pay $1.54 billion in stock to Suzuki for local plant

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Maruti Suzuki India, the country’s top carmaker by sales, said on Tuesday it would issue shares worth 128.41 billion rupees ($1.54 billion) to Suzuki Motor to buy a local manufacturing plant from the Japanese automaker.

This is the first time that Maruti has disclosed a value for the plant in the western state of Gujarat. It first said it would buy the plant in July.

Maruti will issue 12.3 million preference shares at 10,420.85 rupees each, which is a 2.7% discount to the stock’s closing price on Monday. The stock dropped 0.6% on the day.

The share issue will raise Suzuki’s stake in Maruti to 58.19% from the existing 56.48%, roughly in line with the company’s estimate in August.

Since 2014, Suzuki has invested about 180 billion rupees in the plant, which manufactures cars for Maruti. The plant began operations in 2017 and has an annual capacity of 750,000 units.

Maruti has said it expects that full ownership of the plant will give it a better grip on production, including of electric vehicles (EVs), and help it adjust production to changes in demand.

The company’s first EV offering – a sport utility vehicle (SUV) – will be manufactured in the Gujarat plant. It plans to have six EV models by 2030, each of which will be produced at the plant.

Maruti’s shares fell as much as 1.3% after the news, before paring some losses to last trade at 10,635 rupees. They have risen over 8% since Maruti announced the deal along with its quarterly results on July 31. ($1 = 83.2275 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Nandan Mandayam and Kashish Tandon in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)