Joint Venture for India and South Africa Executed – WRG partners with established local network

Jan 30, 2012

Water Resources Group Ltd is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Joint Venture Agreement with Mandala Water Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mandala Capital AG Fund Limited, to exploit all of WRG’s existing and future products and technologies in the operating territories of South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh).

Mandala Capital Ag Fund Limited is a private equity fund that invests in the agricultural sector in the Indian and South Asia markets. Mandala’s founders and partners include longstanding Indian agriculture entrepreneurs as well as Altima Partners LLP, a multi-billion dollar investment fund with substantial investments in the agriculture sector globally.
The Joint Venture, of which WRG owns 49%, will be based in India and allows WRG to enter the burgeoning multi-hundred million-dollar South Asia desalination market for both industrial and municipal applications.
The Joint Venture will also seek to develop new markets in seed and food preservation and food logistics, a major agricultural challenge in South Asia, using WRG’s Plasma Chemical Reactor, a device that produces high-quality, low cost ozone from ambient air.
The opportunities in the water sector in India alone are vast: “India is home to 16 percent of the world’s population, yet the country has only 2.5 percent of the world’s land area and 4 percent of the world’s water resources at its disposal. The rapid increase in population, urbanisation and industrialisation has led to a significant increase in water requirement. In the next decade, the demand for water in India is expected to grow by 20%, fuelled primarily by industrial requirements which are expected to double, domestic requirements which are expected to grow by 40% and irrigation requirements by 14%. Demand in the country is projected to very soon overtake the availability of water and in some regions of the country, it has already happened.”
The CEO of WRG, Brian Harcourt, said, “The Desalination market in South Asia, particularly India, is expected to grow dramatically in the next 10 years. We have been in discussions with Mandala Capital for over 12 months in preparation to enter into this multi-hundred million-dollar market for desalination. Following a successful visit to India by WRG last October, we are very pleased to conclude our agreements, and expect to see significant business opportunities develop for the joint venture, not only for water desalination, but also for applications of our exclusive ozone generator in seed and food preservation. The related companies of our local joint venture partner will open the doors for many of these opportunities, and we look forward to rapid growth in this region.”
The Principal of Mandala Water, and CEO of Mandala Capital, Uday Garg said “We invested in WRG at the time of its Initial Public Offering and have taken the view that the application of their technologies in South Asia is going to greatly enhance the value of the company. We are looking forward to taking advantage of the leadership position that WRG’s chemical free, modular desalination system gives us, and expect expansion into other agriculture sectors such as seed and seedling treatment, fresh produce preservation, aquaculture and fish farming in the near term.”
The Co-Founder and Partner of Altima Partners, Dominic Redfern, who also sits on the Board of WRG said, “I am pleased that WRG and Mandala could come together to enter this major market for water and other applications. Mandala’s connections throughout India and the rest of South Asia should open up vast opportunities for our joint venture, and we have great expectations for this region.”

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