Monday, November 29, 1999

Rajesh Exports scouts for gold mine

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New Delhi, May 16 (PTI) Jewellery maker Rajesh Exports today said it is looking for acquisition of a gold mine overseas for consideration of up to USD 300 million (around Rs 1,350 crore). "We are looking for acquisition of a gold mine. This can happen either in Australia or in South Africa. The deal is likely to be completed in next six months," Rajesh Exports Chairman Rajesh Mehta told PTI. Mehta said the cost of acquisition could be in the range of USD 250-300 million (around Rs 1,150-1,350 crore), which would be partly financed from the company''s current cash reserve of around Rs 1,300 crore along with a certain amount of debt. The company imports gold worth Rs 20,000 crore each year from Australia to meet its requirement. The proposed gold mine acquisition could insulate the company from the price fluctuations and ensure uninterrupted supply. The Bangalore-based firm has recently ventured into the retailing of gold jewellery with eight outlets in Karnatka and hopes to take the tally to 350 in the next 12-18 months. "We are aiming Rs 50,000 crore turnover in the next three years from around Rs 21,000 crore now. I hope the retail initiative could alone contribute Rs 30,000 crore to it," he said, adding the remaining of the targeted topline is likely to come from exports. India''s retail gold jewellery market is currently pegged at Rs one lakh crore and is growing by 5-7 per cent each year. Currently, almost 85 per cent of Rajesh Exports'' turnover comes from exports.

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