Lohia Group forays into defence sector

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Lohia Group forays into defence sectorNEW DELHI: The Kanpur-based Lohia group has acquired an Israeli composite manufacturer, marking its entry into the defence sector, and plans to set up a facility to produce aero structures for UAVs, fighter jets, commercial aircraft as well as space missions.

The Lohia group, which is a global plastics manufacturer, plans to set up the new composite unit at a 10-acre facility that will come in the Uttar Pradesh Defence Corridor and is likely to get multiplier benefits under the defence offset rules in the offing.

The acquisition of the Israel-based Light & Strong Limited, which makes aerospace and military grade carbon fibre and glass fibre composite components, has been concluded at an undisclosed price.

The Israeli company supplies components to manufacture military platforms and has a current annual revenue of over $15 million. While the Israeli facility will continue to produce for the local market, the Lohia Group said a new plant in India will be used not only to meet offset obligations for defence contracts but also to target global markets.

“We wanted to diversify and the defence and aerospace sector is still growing. We don’t feel it is saturated as yet. We are doing something that requires a fairly high amount of technology and were waiting for the right company and product to come along,” Anurag Lohia, director, Lohia Group, told ET.

Work on the new facility at Kanpur is expected to start by the middle of this year with the group confident that production can commence by early next year. The Indian facility will also target customers such as HAL, BDL and ISRO that need composite parts for ongoing projects. “The idea was to bring high technology to India and the best way we found after exploring companies across the world was through the right acquisition,” Pavitra Goel, Lead – Aerospace & Defence, Lohia Group, said.

The group plans to invest upwards of $10 million in the new plant in India.