Lagadapati a shrewd businessman

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12LAGADAPATThe 53-year-old Lok Sabha MP from the Congress Party, Lagadapati Rajagopal, who hogged limelight on Thursday by spreading pepper spray and causing adjournment of Lok Sabha, is better known for his sensational politics but less known as a shrewd businessman.

Mr. Rajagopal belongs to Vijayawada, which will fall under Seemandhra. He was under media glare when he made a theatrical entry into NIMS Hospital in Hyderabad to prove a point against the Telangana cause earlier.

The Chairman of the highly-diversified business entity, Lanco Group, Mr. Rajagopal has businesses spread across the three regions — Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and Telangana. And, the group’s businesses have spread beyond Andhra Pradesh.

Mr. Rajagopal, son-in-law of veteran Congress leader P. Upendra, had seen a phenomenal rise in his business empire during the 1990s. The company has presence in EPC contracts, power, solar, mining and infrastructure. The group’s annual revenues stood at Rs.13,887 crore in the last fiscal.

While the company has its power and ferro-alloy facilities in the Seemandhra region, its landmark Rs.5,500-crore Lanco Hills project is located in Hyderabad, which falls under Telangana. Unconfirmed reports also say that the Chairman had acquired huge private lands in and around Hyderabad.

Lanco became the country’s largest independent power producer with a generation capacity of 3.3 GW, overtaking Tata Power’s capacity of 3GW during 2011 itself. It has lined up plans to add another 15,000 ME capacity by 2015. This apart, Lanco had acquired Griffin Coal, an ailing Australian mine producing about 5 million tonnes annually, for Australian $730 million. The total assets of the group is valued at Rs.50, 821 crore.

Last but not least, in a latest beneficial move by banks, the group has got approval from its lenders to re-structure its loans to the tune of Rs.7,000 crore in December, 2013.

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