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Carborundum Universal eyes acquisitions in US, Europe

10 August 2017

Murugappa Group company Carborundum Universal is scouting for acquisitions in the US and Europe in three business areas.

“We are looking at companies in ceramics, aerospace and electric vehicles segments. These buys will help us hook onto one of those fast-growing industries,” said K Srinivasan, Managing Director, CUMI.

“Nothing is concrete so far; but we are continuously exploring. We are looking at companies that will get us Tier- I presence in those business segments,” he added.

Strategy shift
The company believes the global market will see a shift from metal-centric to non-metal centric in most applications, necessitating the company’s realignment strategy.

Explaining the plan, Srinivasan said abrasives in its current form — bonded abrasives and metal-centric manufacturing — will decline. There will be demand for tighter tolerance and better finish (for example, gorilla glasses in smartphones) with lighter material.

“So, we are getting more and more into precision grinding and all our investments are directed towards that. We will also move to value-added manufacturing — along with it, other things such as 3-D printing.”

It seeks to transform into a full-range abrasive solution provider and has set a vision to become a leading global player in the business by 2022.

The refractories business is getting repositioned to focus more on lighter refractories. “We have ultra-light refractories that are used in spaceship nose cone. The value of refractories will change and we are already preparing for that,” he said.

High-end ceramics, including those used in healthcare, is a strong-growth segment.

Srinivasan indicated that the biggest breakthrough is expected in the electro-mineral business. So far, it has been a back-end raw material supplying business; this will change.

“We are going to make material for the battery industry, metal composites and the energy industry. We will become a part of the composite world and are getting more and more into value-added businesses.”

The company is also ramping up research and innovation. It is filing 20-30 patents a year and aims to increase the number up to 300 in the next three years.

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