Global Investors eye a slice in UPL's Agri-Tech Platform Play

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UPL which is India’s largest Agro-Chemical company in market capitalisation is undertaking a transformation in its business model, which is one of the reasons why investors are lapping up the stock which has gained about 50% in market capitalisation in the last 6-months alone. Sources tell ET NOW that there are talks which have been initiated between the management and global strategic investors (Agri-Sciences focused PEs & Technology companies) to pick up a minority stake in UPL’s Agri-Tech platform which is being developed to offer hi-tech modern farming solutions on a global scale by integrating most advanced farming technologies on one platform, under its mother project called ‘ÓpenAg’. This Digital Biosolutions Platform is being developed under its Brazil subsidiary under the guidance of its CTO Adrian Percy. Initial valuations of this platform are being seen at around one billion dollars and UPL may carve out upto 20% stake to strategic investors in order to establish its base valuations. UPL which is aiming to transform from an Agri Chem to Bio Sciences via R&D led digital solutions has a goldmine of critical data on farming patterns & practices across geographies and it wants to collaborate with cos across the world to mine this data and offer modern solutions for the Bio Sciences sector. ET NOW queries to UPL mgmt regarding this plan went unanswered. But right after its Q4 results in our interaction with the mgmt. when asked on any value-unlocking plans in any business Jai Shroff did hint in this direction, without revealing all the details of the plan.
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