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Bisleri To Be Sold To Tata Consumer For Around Rs 7,000 Crore

Bisleri, almost synonymous with bottled water in India, is changing hands on account of its Chairman’s poor health.

Bisleri To Be Sold To Tata Consumer For Around Rs 7,000 Crore
Bisleri commands around 32 per cent share in the Indian packaged water market.

The Chairman of Bisleri International, Ramesh J Chauhan, is divesting the brand to Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL) for an estimated Rs 6,000-7,000 crore, according to sources. The current management will continue for two years as part of the deal. 

Chauhan, 82, has been in indifferent health in recent times and says he doesn't have a successor to take Bisleri to the next level of expansion. Daughter Jayanti isn't too keen on the business, Chauhan said. 

Bisleri is India's largest packaged water player with approximately 32 per cent market share. The Tata Group “will nurture and take care of it even better,” although selling Bisleri was nevertheless a “painful” decision, Chauhan said. “I like the Tata culture of values and integrity and hence made up my mind despite the aggression shown by other interested buyers,” he added.

Bisleri is said to have had several suitors at different times, including Reliance Retail, Nestle and French multinational Danone. Talks with Tata have been going on for two years and he made up his mind after meeting Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran and Tata Consumer CEO Sunil D’Souza a few months back. “I like them. They are good guys,” he was quoted telling the Economic Times.

Chauhan does not see any point in holding minority stakes after selling the business. “What will I do with it when I am not running the show?” he said. Chauhan is also responsible for launching Vedica in the ‘premium natural mineral water’ segment.

Tata already has a presence in the bottled water market through its products Himalayan Natural Mineral Water and Tata Copper Plus Water. With Chauhan’s announcement, shares of Tata Consumer Products climbed 3 per cent in morning trading. India’s bottled water market is presumed to be worth over Rs 45,000 crore and is expected to grow at 4.8 per cent annually in the next five years.

With inputs from IANS.

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