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© GMP
Germany: Indiaís hot investment destination

March 10, 2008

More and more Indian companies are reaching overseas destinations to tap new markets and to acquire new technologies. And one of the most preferred investment destinations of Indian companies is Germany.

The ‘Annual Review 2007’ of Indian investments abroad’, released by Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC), says more than 2400 Indian firms are already engaged in business in Germany and the number is constantly growing. While two-thirds of these firms belong to the IT sector, the rest is mainly allocated to the textile industry, engineering industry, pharmaceuticals and automotive components. A focus of engagements in Germany lies in the start-up of subsidiaries as well as in Mergers & Acquisitions.

In March 2008, India’s Tata Consultancy Service (TCS) Ltd and Nokia Siemens Networks entered into a multimillion-euro agreement to jointly research and develop telecom products at Nokia Siemens’ Dusseldorf centre in Germany. In a statement, Chief operating officer and executive director of TCS N Chandrasekharan said, “The new regional delivery for telecommunications customers in Dusseldorf is strategic to TCS as Germany is a key European market.”

Another major Indian player has been eyeing the German market for a long time and has finally made its entry to Germany in February 2008. India’s ICICI Bank launched its German operations by opening a branch in the financial centre of Frankfurt. ICICI said it aimed to attract high-value private clients through its investments instruments, as well as become involved in financing trade between India and Germany. In a statement, the Bank’s Chief Executive KV Kamath said, “Germany, as Europe’s largest economy, is an important step in the international expansion strategy of ICICI Bank.”

Biocon, India’s premier bio-technology company, acquired a 70 per cent stake in German pharmaceutical company, AxiCorp GmbH for 30 million euros.  This will enable Biocon to market and distribute a range of pharma products in Gemany and Europe.

German media recently reported about another Indian company looking to foray into the German market. German weekly magazine Focus in January 2008 reported that India’s Tata group plans to buy a stake in a high-tech unit of Germany’s deutsche Telekom. In its report, Focus said the Indian group – specializing in high-tech, automobiles and steel – was on the verge of acquiring the systems integration business of Deutsche Telekom unit T-Systems.

According to the IGCC report, Germany’s good reputation as a location for investments is based on its excellent telecommunication, transport and logistics infrastructure, its highly qualified and technically well-educated workforce.

Indian investments in Germany go back a long way. Some of the biggest acquisitions in the last few years were considered to be the Hamburger Stahlwerke (Mittal) and the polyester manufacture Trevira. Other important Indian employers in Germany are the Forging company CDP Bharat Forge, the automotive supplier Amtek and the pharmaceutical company Dr Reddy’s. In total Indian companies provide more than 10 000 workplaces in Germany.

For the period between November 2006 and July 2007 four cases of Mergers & Acquisitions were registered. In 2006 automobile major Mahindra & Mahindra acquired Schöneweiss & Co GmbH, a leading company in the forgings sector to expand its business activities in Germany. SLI Sylvania, a global designer and supplier of lighting systems, was taken over by Havell’s, a leading Indian manufacturer and supplier of lighting products and electrical equipment for domestic and industrial purpose.

In March 2007 Suzlon Windenergie GmbH acquired the German REpower. Suzlon Windenergie GmbH is an associated company composed of the Indian wind power station manufacture Suzlon Energy Ltd. (74.6 per cent) and the Portuguese steel and metal constructor Martifer (25.4 per cent).Three divisions of the German textile company Hucke AG were taken over by Hucke Douceur Brands Germany, an Indian owned firm, in July 2007, now located in Düsseldorf.

Geographically, one focus of Indian investment in Germany lies in the federal state of Hesse, especially Frankfurt, where the biggest Indian community is located. However, Bavaria too becomes increasingly important for Indian firms. In 2006, 10 companies have chosen the southern federal state for their engagements in Germany. North Rhine-Westphalia ranks 3rd in the number of Indian firms registered, says the IGCC report.



by Sakshi Arora
© German Information Centre New Delhi
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