Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL) is buying India’s largest packaged water company Bisleri International for an estimated Rs 6,000-7,000 crore, according to an ET report. It added that Ramesh Chauhan, who is the chairman of Bisleri International, has no successor to take Bisleri to the next level of expansion.
Three decades ago, Chauhan had also sold soft drink brands Thums Up, Limca and Gold Spot. As part of the Bisleri-TCPL deal, the current management will continue for two years, the ET report said. The talks with Tata have been going on for the past two years.
The report quoted Chauhan as saying that the Tata Group will nurture and take care of it even better, although selling Bisleri was still a painful decision. “I like the Tata culture of values and integrity and, hence, made up my mind despite the aggression shown by other interested buyers”.
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 acquiring Bisleri.
Bisleri is expected to have a turnover of Rs 2,500 crore with a profit of Rs 220 crore in 2022-23.
Stating that deal was not just about the money, Chauhan told ET, “Even I don’t know what I will do with it (the money) but let me make it clear. It was not just the value I am getting for it, I was more anxious to find a home that would look after it as I did. This is a business I have built with passion and it is now run by equally passionate employees.”
In 1993, Coca-Cola bought the entire portfolio of aerated drinks from Chauhan and his brother Prakash. These include Thums Up, Limca, Citra, RimZim and Maaza.
Bisleri was started as an Italian brand in Mumbai in 1965, which was later acquired by Chauhans in 1969. Currently, it has over 122 operational plants and 4,500 distributors across India and its neighbouring countries.
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