The chairman of Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd., Ramesh Chauhan, Today on 24 November 2022 said he is scouting for a buyer for his business Bisleri International and is in talks with several, including Tata Consumer Products Ltd.
When asked if he is selling his Bisleri Business, Ramesh Chauhan answered in the affirmative. “Yes. We are,” he told to media. However, he denied a report that Rs 7,000 crore deals has been finalised with Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL). He also added that the group is in discussions with several prospective buyers.
When asked about the report that he has agreed to sell his business to the Tata Group firm, Chauhan, Chairman of Bisleri International said, “It’s not correct… We are still discussing.” When asked about the reasons for the sale of Bisleri business, the octogenarian business leader said someone had to handle it and look into it.
His daughter Jayanti is not interested in handling the business, Chauhan added.
Later in a media statement, Bisleri International Spokesperson said: “We are currently in discussion and cannot disclose further.” Three decades ago Chauhans sold their soft drinks business to the US beverage major The Coca-Cola Company. He transferred brands such as Thums Up, Gold Spot, Citra, Maaza and Limca in 1993 to the Atlanta-headquartered firm.
Of these brands, Thums Up has already become a billion-dollar brand and Coca-Cola expects fruit drinks brand Maaza also to be a billion-dollar brand by 2024.
The Tata Group houses its consumer business under Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL) which also sells packaged mineral water under the brand Himalayan and with brands as Tata Copper Plus Water and Tata Gluco in the hydration segment.
Tata Consumer was the top gainer among Nifty50 stocks today, rising over 2.5% in early trade.
According to industry observers, if the deal is finalised, it would provide the Tata group FMCG arm a larger play into the fast-growing bottled water segment.
The Indian bottled water market was valued at over USD 2.43 billion (around ₹19,315 crore) in FY2021, said a report from market research and advisory TechSci Research.
It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.25 per cent on account of increasing disposable income, rising health and hygiene awareness, and increasing product innovation, the report added.
“Bottled water is gaining popularity among consumers because it is thought to be more hygienic than loose normal water in the market, which is not good for health and is unsafe to drink,” the report said.
Several companies including Coca-Cola India through its brand Kinley, PepsiCo’s Aquafina, Bailley from Parle Agro and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)’s Rail Neer compete in the segment but they all trail the market leader Bisleri.
TCPL, which has been formed after merging the consumer products business of Tata Chemicals with Tata Global Beverages, aspires to be a formidable player in the FMCG category, by expanding its play into the existing category and venturing into new areas.