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Last Updated: Friday, 23 December 2005, 12:06 GMT
Tata swoops on UK chemicals firm
Soda ash bottles used by Brunner Mond
Soda ash is a vital constituent in the glass making process
India's Tata Chemicals has bought British chemicals business Brunner Mond for 65m, the latest Indian firm to buy into the UK.

Tata Chemicals, part of the Tata Group conglomerate, has acquired a 63% stake in the Cheshire-based firm from Barclays Bank and Wayland Investments.

Brunner Mond is a leading manufacturer of soda ash, which is used to produce glass, soap and detergents.

A buoyant domestic economy is enabling Indian firms to expand abroad.

Expansion trend

According to Reuters, Indian companies have spent 300m on buying interests in the UK alone this year.

Significant deals have included the 80m purchase of the Typhoo tea business by Apeejay Surrendra Group.

Last month, Brunner Mond revealed that it was in talks with Tata Chemicals about a possible deal.

In addition to its UK headquarters, Brunner Mond has manufacturing plants in the Netherlands and Kenya.

It is also a leading producer of sodium bicarbonate.

Tata Chemicals has been looking to grow its business outside India and recently lost out in a bid to buy a top Egyptian firm.

The acquisition of Brunner Mond should double its annual production of soda ash to more than two million tonnes.

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