Walton plans fresh $640m investment
Walton Hi-Tech Industries Ltd is going to make a fresh investment of $640 million, equivalent to Tk 5,440 crore, to expand facilities to produce and increase export of electrical and electronic goods.
The company has already submitted its plan to the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (Beza), seeking 300 acres of land at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar in Chattogram.
"Under the investment, the company intends to set up a second unit of Walton Hi-Tech Industries," said Walton Group Managing Director Golam Murshed.
"Our target is to complete the implementation work within two years and start commercial production."
The investment will be made over a period of eight years and would be comprised, in equal parts, of retained earnings and long-term bank loans. The group plans to borrow from domestic and foreign banks.
Murshed said once the Beza gives the approval, Walton would sit to plan out the number of products to be manufactured and make an announcement at the stock exchange.
Among them will be home appliances such as refrigerator, freezer, air-conditioner, compressor and television alongside cables and automobile components.
Murshed hopes to offer 15,000 jobs directly from the second unit.
Now Walton has an over 20,000-strong workforce in 22 production bases on 680 acres of factory area at Chandra, Gazipur. Its yearly production capacity is 10 million units.
When it comes to professional manufacturing of electrical and electronic goods, Walton has truly turned into a giant, gaining a reputation on providing competitive prices and ensuring a presence in more than 20 countries.
The Walton managing director hopes the second unit would widen its global footprint.
Walton set up its first manufacturing plant in 2008, and in 2016, it started manufacturing one vital component of refrigerators, compressors.
The proposal said all manufacturing machinery would be imported from countries, including Japan, China, Italy, Korea, Belgium, Turkey, Austria, Germany and the US.
Its forecast domestic and export sales revenue in the seventh year following investment is around Tk 5,690 crore.
With a paid-up capital of Tk 300 crore, Walton is already in the process of raising Tk 100 crore from the stock market this year through an initial public offering.
According to its annual report, its annual turnover in FY 2019-20 was Tk 4,100 crore. It was Tk 5,180 crore in the previous fiscal year.
Its earnings per share were Tk 21.34 in the July-December period in 2020, up from Tk 20.34 in the same period of 2019.
Beza Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury appreciated the initiative, citing it would diversify the country's exports, which Walton had already contributed to, and that Bangladesh needed to promote such steps.
Walton's need for land will be examined, and the Beza will try to accommodate them at the industrial city despite a scarcity of land there at the moment, he said.