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07 May, 2013 08:52 AM Source: Financial Times - Sri Lanka

The duo does have a knack for it or perhaps it is in their DNA, as the market saw yet another DNA as one analyst coined it the Dhammika – Nimal Acquisition.

Giving a major boost to the country’s corporate sentiment, which had been under gloomy weather for some time, Dhammika and Nimal yesterday effected their 18th acquisition when related parties acquired a controlling 80% stake in Lanka Ceramics Plc, from CT Holdings Plc of the Ceylon Theatres Group. High net worth investor and Director Dr. T. Senthilverl also sold his 7% stake.

The acquisition was via Royal Ceramics Plc, which picked up 76% stake along with Vallibel One (3.3%), Nimal Perera (3.3%) on his personal account, and Lanka Ceramics Chairman Anthony Page (3.3%), Dr. Sellaiah and Managing Director Rajiv Casie Chitty. Page previously had a 1.17% stake.

RCL’s acquisition of Lanka Ceramics is part of consolidating its dominant position in the ceramics tiles and bathware market in addition to wooden flooring business and packaging. With Hayleys’ and Dhammika’s interests, the Group also gets control of the aluminium industry which is booming in tandem with post-war construction spree. Additionally is the stronger foothold in rubber plantation business.

Nimal Perera told the Daily FT that after Hayleys Plc, this was the most important acquisition under the D&N combination. The duo to date has made nearly 20 acquisitions or strategic investments.

Nimal, who is the Managing Director of RCL and Chairman of Pan Asia Bank, also said that the deal was finalised within a week largely on the goodwill of and the strong ties with Anthony Page, whose was appointed to Pan Asia Bank in April 2008 even when he was serving on the Board of Lanka Ceramics.

The entire acquisition is financed by HNB, whose Acting CEO Jonathan Alles was commended by Nimal for agreeing to the deal via a call over the weekend.

Direct subsidiary of Lanka Ceramics is Lanka Walltiles Plc in which it holds 62% whilst other indirect subsidiaries are Horana Plantations Plc (17%), Ceytea Plantation Management Ltd. (33%), Lanka Floortiles Plc (34%), Uni Dil Packaging (33%), Uni Dil Paper Sacks (33%), Swisstek (Ceylon) Ltd. (23%) and Swisstek Aluminium Ltd. (20%). More...

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