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Tata Steel deploys key men to turn around TRF

Tata Steel has taken steps to revive the fortunes of its struggling listed subsidiary TRF Ltd by putting three of its senior officials on its Board. Dibyendu Bose, Sandeep Biswas and Rajesh Ranjan Jha have been appointed by parent Tata Steel to chalk out a revival plan.

“TRF Board has appointed three additional directors on its Board, today. All the additional directors are senior executives from Tata Steel,” a statement issued by the company said.

Tata Steel holds 34.12% promoter’s stake in the Jamshedpur-headquartered company.

The move is being seen by Tata Steel officials as a step by the parent to turnaround construction equipment maker TRF after posting continuous losses thereby turning sick.

From the post of managing director of TM International Logistics, a Tata Steel JV, Bose in 2013 was elevated to the post of group director in charge of investments and new ventures.

Sandeep Biswas was made the group executive vice-president, finance, in 2014 in charge of mergers and acquisition, treasury and corporate finance while Rajesh Ranjan Jha has been in charge of engineering at Tata Steel’s newly commissioned Kalinganagar plant.

TRF on Wednesday reported another set of poor financials with December quarter losses widening to Rs 23.88 crore versus Rs 10.83 crore year ago despite revenues growing from Rs 83.98 crore to Rs 117.54 crore.

With accumulated losses eroding its net worth, TRF has been taking some desperate measures to maintain cash flow including liquidating retention monies related to contracts at an advanced stage of completion.

As per the audit note, retention money receivable aggregated to Rs 255 crore as on March 2016.

In another development on Wednesday, Tata Steel acquired the control of the planned Subarnarekha Port in Odisha by buying 51% stake in Creative Port Development.

The acquisition, a part of the strategy to optimise its inbound and outbound supplies for its steel plants in East, would help revive a port project which remains a non-starter despite a decade having passed since the agreement between the promoters, Creative Port Development, was signed in 2006 with the state government.

Although the deal value was not disclosed, Tata Steel said it would spend around Rs 120 crore in acquisition and development of the port.