US firm Harsco open to acquisitions in railway infrastructure

Harsco Corporation, a global industrial services company with revenues of $3 billion, is looking at forging alliances and acquisitions in India.

The company, which is into metals and minerals, infrastructure, rail and industrial businesses, is operating in India for two decades but reports small percentage of its global revenues.

The newly-appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pennsylvania-headquartered company, Patrick K. Decker, is in India to take stock of the company affairs and business opportunities here.

Decker said there was huge scope for business in railway infrastructure in China and India.

The old and worn-out rail infrastructure needs to be rebuilt. “We are in early stages of pursuing that business,” he said.

Addressing a press conference here, he, however, refused to put a number to the opportunities being pursedor the target for Indian operations. “We are open to acquisitions. But I am against acquiring any company for the sake of acquisitions,” he said.

The company runs a Global Innovation Park here with 220 staffers. Of the 19,000 employees globally, around 700 work for its India operations. It recently bagged a 15-year $100 million contract with Jindal Stainless. Harsco’s services are scheduled to begin in the second half of this year and will include the company’s specialised process technologies for recovering metal from stainless steel production by-products.

The firm acquired over 20 companies globally. With a cash back-up of $100 million, it also had credit lines and opportunities to raise debt for buy-outs, if any, he said.

Environmental issues

Refusing to comment on the country’s overall (mining and environment) policies, he said these trends would continue, making Harsco’s services more valuable.

On the growth projections globally, he said the company was cautiously optimistic


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