• Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Lord Paul looking for ‘steel-friendly’ facility in the UK

FILE PHOTO: British industrialist and the Caparo Group chief Lord Swraj Paul. (Photo: SENA VIDANAGAMA/AFP/Getty Images).

By: Pramod Thomas

LEADING London-based entrepreneur Lord Swraj Paul has revealed his company’s acquisition plans in the UK and India in the coming months.

The 90-year-old founder of Caparo Group has said that his team had identified a few potential acquisitions. They will be finalised after site visits are made possible after Covid-hit travel eases up.

The focus will be on adding to the company’s strengths in the manufacturing sector, with businesses in the field of steel products under consideration, Lord Paul said.

“In India, we have a presence in 20 states already, so the new acquisition will be wherever we find a steel-friendly scenario.

“In the UK, we are looking at new businesses related to the manufacture of industrial goods,” he explained.

“Our expertise is in the field of steel products for cars, planes, railways, and my motto has always been to do what you know best,” he said.

In an interview with the Asian Rich List, which was published last month, Lord Paul said, “I have started looking already. It has to be metals or engineering, a business that I know. Since it is becoming more and more difficult for me to travel, it has to be within easy reach of London, say no further than Oxford, maximum the Midlands.”

Asked about the time frame for these new buys, the peer and businessman added: “These are very dark times. We have had to close offices again amid the latest surge in Covid cases. So, it is about wait and watch, but not watch indefinitely.”

Lord Paul also told the Asian Rich List that in recent years, it was the US that had witnessed the most dynamic growth. “The US is completely handled by me,” he said.

He has two companies there – Caparo Bull Moose, which makes steel tubes; and XL Specialized Trailers, which manufactures very long trailers for transporting freight at a factory in Manchester, Iowa, which he acquired in 2006.

Lord Paul founded his first business in Huntingdon in 1968. After a steel industry crisis around six years ago, Caparo Group’s operations in the West Midlands were sold after going into administration.

The bulk of his company’s operations are now in the US, India, Canada and the United Arab Emirates. But for the New Year, he has set his sights on the UK once again.

Lord Paul’s wealth in the Asian Rich List was estimated to be £750million.

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