Edited by: Muhammad Harris
Last updated: Mar 01, 2023, 11:30 AM IST
The Tata Group’s talks for a majority stake in Bisleri International, India’s leading packaged water company, have stalled due to valuation, according to a Bloomberg report to people familiar with the matter. It added that the group was in advanced stages of talks to take control of Bisleri.
Bisleri’s owners were seeking about $1 billion from a deal, according to the Bloomberg report. It said the companies could not agree on the valuation later. The report said talks could still resume and other potential suitors could emerge.
According to reports in November 2022, Tata Consumer Products Ltd purchased Bisleri for around Rs 6,000-7,000 crore. Ramesh Chauhan, president of Bisleri International, has no successor to take Bisleri to the next level.
Three decades ago, Chauhan had also sold Thums Up, Limca, and Gold Spot soft drink brands. As part of the Bisleri-TCPL deal, current management will stay on for two years, the ET report said. Talks with Tata have been going on for two years.
Bisleri is expected to have a turnover of Rs 2,500 crore with a profit of Rs 220 crore in 2022-23.
The Tata group already sells packaged mineral water under the Himalayan brand, as well as Tata Copper Plus Water and Tata Gluco+. It will become the top company in the segment after the acquisition of Bisleri.
In 1993, Coca-Cola bought the entire range of carbonated drinks from Chauhan and his brother Prakash. These include Thums Up, Limca, Citra, RimZim, and Maaza.
Bisleri was founded in 1965 as an Italian brand in Mumbai, which was later acquired by Chauhans in 1969. Currently, it has more than 122 operational factories and 4,500 distributors across India and neighboring countries.
Previously, Chauhan was quoted by ET saying that the Tata Group will nurture and care for it even better, although the sale of Bisleri was still a painful decision. “I like the Tata culture of values and integrity, which is why I made my decision despite the aggression of other interested buyers.”
“Even I don’t know what I’m going to do with it (the money), but let me make it clear. It wasn’t just the value I get for it, I was more looking for a house that would take care of it like I did. This is a company I built with passion and it is now run by equally passionate employees,” said Chauhan.
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