Making a splash

A strong balance sheet and cheap valuation seem to work in favour of water treatment major, VA Tech Wabag

RA Chandroo

In 1996, Rajiv Mittal left London and came to Chennai to set up the Indian office of the company he worked for. Eight years later, when the Indian operation was put on the block, Mittal and three executive directors of the company decided to make a bid. Management buyouts are still a rare occurrence in India — and buyouts of Indian arms of MNCs almost unheard-of. But, in September 2005, with some help from ICICI Ventures, the quartet bought 75% of the company they worked for, paying ₹60 crore. A year after Mittal decided to try his hand at the unthinkable — he made a bid to acquire the parent company in Austria. Again helped by the PE firm, he succeeded and the deal was completed in 2007.