Tata Group To Buy Wistron’s Apple Facility In Karnataka For Rs. 4,000-5,000 Crore

Tata Group To Buy Wistron's Apple Facility

Tata Group To Buy Wistron’s Apple Facility In Karnataka For Rs. 4,000-5,000 Crore

December 1, 2022: If its talks with Wistron are successful, the Tata Group will benefit as it can increase the manufacturing capacity of group company Tata Electronics Pvt Ltd (TEPL) in precision engineering.

However, if talks fail, Tata could also look at the joint venture route, which could be modeled on the lines of Tata Motors taking over the Ford unit in Gujarat.

The more than 150-year-old Tata Group is eyeing Wistron’s Apple plant in Karnataka and its facility is worth Rs. 4,000-5,000 crore and is in talks with a Taipei-based company to buy it.

The facility in Narsapura, which manufactures Apple devices and components, is Wistron’s only plant in India.

Wistron is one of Apple’s top three vendors in India, the other two being Foxconn and Pegatron. If its talks with Wistron go through, the soft-to-software conglomerate would benefit as it could boost group company Tata Electronics Pvt Ltd’s (TEPL) manufacturing capacity in precision engineering, people familiar with the discussions told The Economic Times.

TEPL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons and currently supplies components to Apple from its Hosur unit in Tamil Nadu.

It employs more than 10,000 workers, most of whom are women. The Tata subsidiary has an exclusive deal with the US tech giant which is part of Make in India.

If Tata’s talks with Wistron do not work out, the conglomerate may also look at a joint venture independently, according to sources.

The JV deal could be modeled on the lines of Tata Motors’ acquisition of the Ford unit in Gujarat earlier this year.

“Tata will run the show, but Wistron may hold some stake to leverage on Apple’s global vendor ecosystem,” another person aware of the discussions told ET.

Meanwhile, Tata Group had earlier considered setting up an electronics manufacturing joint venture with Wistron, Bloomberg reported in early September.

However, informed sources said the group is increasingly leaning towards buying the facility at Narsapura in Kolar, Karnataka.

Apple currently manufactures the iPhone SE, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, and iPhone 14 (basic) models in India.

All Pro models sold in the country are imported. Earlier this month, Foxconn began assembling the Apple iPhone 14 in another Apple supplier country after it started manufacturing the latest iPhone 14 in India in September.

Pegatron Corp, the maker of the iPhone 14 in India, has become the second Apple supplier in India, and under the Product-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for smartphones between FY23 and FY25, Rs. 1,132 crores is planned to be invested.

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