Indian company Gokaldas Exports buys Dubai-based Atraco Group – Sourcing Journal

Gokaldas Exports of India announced last week that it had acquired Dubai-based Atraco Group for US$55 million. Established in 1986, Atraco is a manufacturer of private label clothing for men, women and children. In addition to the company headquarters in Dubai, they have production facilities in Ethiopia, Egypt and Kenya.

Gokaldas Vice Chairman and General Manager Sivaramakrishnan Ganapathi noted that the company is expected to grow 25 to 30 percent over the next three years on the basis of Atraco alone. Gokaldas reports sales of $250 million and exports to 50 countries.

According to its LinkedIn page, Atraco Group employs 10,000 people. Gokaldas employs 32,000 workers and sews for the Swedish fashion company H&M, among others, but also for Primark, Nike and Gap.

The company made headlines in mid-2020 when it laid off 1,257 mostly female unionized workers at the height of the Covid pandemic, following rumors that H&M, its biggest customer, had canceled all of its orders. H&M denied the claims, saying at the time it had paid for all the goods.

Some eight months later, in February 2021, the Garment and Textile Workers Union (GTWU), an affiliate of IndustriALL Global Union and its governing body Unions United, accused Gokaldas of engaging in aggressive union busting and intimidation harassment of the laid-off workers Claims for unpaid wages back. After a 50-day factory shutdown, Gokaldas was forced by the GATWU to pay wages. In addition, the company reinstated the laid-off workers at two existing factories.

With the purchase of Atraco, Gokaldas has access to Kenya’s duty-free status guaranteed by the US African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Ethiopia also had duty-free status but was excluded from the program earlier this year. While AGOA covers many industries, a Reuters report this year called the apparel sector “the biggest success story” of the program. It is scheduled to expire in 2025. Indian company Gokaldas Exports buys Dubai-based Atraco Group – Sourcing Journal

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