Tata Consumer is set to acquire India’s largest packaged drinking water company, Bisleri, for an estimated Rs 6,000-7,000 crore. Chairman Ramesh Chauhan is aiming to disinvest Bisleri International to Tata Consumer Products three decades after selling soft drink brands Thums Up, Gold Spot and Limca to Coca-Cola.
According to The Economic Times, the current management will continue for two years as part of the deal. Chauhan’s ill health and daughter Jayanti’s lack of interest in the business is driving him to sell off the company. Selling Bisleri was a painful decision, he said, but believes that the Tata Group will take ‘even better’ care of it.
There have been other interested parties such as Reliance Retail, Nestle and Danone. The report stated that talks between Tata and Chauhan have been going on for the past two years. But once he met Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran and Tata Consumer CEO Sunil D’Souza, Chauhan made up his mind. “I like them. They are good guys,” he reportedly said.
Chauhan does not plan to keep a minority stake in the company; he sees no point in it considering he will not be running the show anymore. He plans to reinvest in environmental and charitable causes instead.
He said that he does not know what he would do with the money. Chauhan said it was not about the value of the business but about finding the right home for the company.
The day-to-day management team is led by a professional team headed by CEO Angelo George.
Originally an Italian brand, Bisleri was acquired by the Chauhans in 1969. The company has 122 operational plants in the country.
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