Tata Consumer Products says it will not buy Bisleri International

Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL), the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) wing of the Tata Group, on Friday said the company has not entered into any definitive agreement or binding commitment with Bisleri International Private Ltd, the country’s largest bottled water firm.

“The company wishes to update that it has now ceased negotiations with Bisleri with regard to a potential transaction and to confirm that the company has not entered into any definitive agreement or binding commitment on this matter,” it said in an exchange filing.

This comes after various reports appeared that Tata Group is planning to acquire a stake in the bottled water giant.

Tata Consumer Products Ltd said it evaluates various strategic opportunities for the growth and expansion of its business on an ongoing basis and pursuant to this, the management of the Company remained in discussions with various parties, including Bisleri International Private Ltd.

Last year, veteran industrialist Ramesh Chauhan said he is scouting for a buyer for his packaged water business Bisleri and is in talks with several players, including Tata Consumer Products Ltd. However, he also added that the group is in discussions with several prospective buyers.

When asked about the reasons for the sale of Bisleri’s 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.

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. Chauhan re-entered the soft drinks segment in 2016, by launching “Bisleri POP” but failed to create that magic again.

The Tata Group firm, which has the ambition to be a “formidable player in the FMCG industry” in 2022 had done some acquisitions and is expanding its reach in the addressable market.

TCPL is already present in the bottled water segment with its brand Himalayan, selling packaged mineral water. Besides, it is also present in the hydration segment with Tata Copper Plus Water and Tata Gluco.

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