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Banking

Shopping spree signals global ambitions

Not long ago, any claim that Indian manufacturers could make acquisitions abroad would have been dismissed as wishful thinking. Cheap IT services and software development might some day make India a global player in the services industry but it had clearly missed the opportunity in manufacturing.

In recent months, though, India Inc has embarked on a shopping spree overseas and, surprisingly, the shoppers are top Indian companies that include a truck maker, a metals company, a pharmaceuticals company and an auto component manufacturer.

Tata Motors, India's biggest truck manufacturer, is buying Daewoo's truck business in Korea for $125 million; pharmaceuticals company Ranbaxy will pay about $60 million for the generics business of French company RPG Aventis; and metals manufacturer Hindalco, part of the Birla group, has acquired Mount Gordon Copper Mines in Australia. The list goes on: Bharat Forge signed a memorandum of undertaking on November 21 to buy Carl Dan Peddinghaus (CDP) of Germany for about $30 million; Sundaram Fasteners acquired Dana Spicer in Europe; and petrochemicals company Reliance has made a $211 million bid for Flag Telecom. In addition, two Indian IT companies announced smaller acquisitions last month: I Flex will buy US company SuperSolutions for $11.5

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