Tata Group to Acquire Bisleri- India’s Largest Packaged Water Brand
Nearly thirty years after selling the soft drink brands Thums Up, Gold Spot, and Limca to Coca-Cola, 82-year-old Ramesh J. Chauhan will sell his packaged water company Bisleri to Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL) for around Rs 6,000–7,000 crore. As Jayanti, Chauhan’s daughter, has no interest in the company, Chauhan is without a successor.
As part of the agreement, the company’s current management will stay in place for another two years at India’s largest bottled water provider. The company’s 80-year-old chairman hasn’t been keeping well recently and has had average health.
Chauhan described the choice to sell Bisleri as “sad,” but he is confident that the Tata Group “will nurture and take care of it even better.” He told the Economic Times, “I like the Tata culture of values and integrity and hence made up my mind despite the aggression shown by other interested buyers,”.
He made up his mind after meeting with Sunil D’Souza, CEO of Tata Consumer, and N Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons, a few months ago. Talks with Tata have been ongoing for two years. “I like them. They are decent people, he told ET.
As Chauhan pointed out, the transaction wasn’t just about the money “I’ll be honest and say that even I don’t know what I’ll do with the money. Not only was I interested in how much I was getting for it, but I was also eager to choose a residence that would treat it with the same care that I did. I started this company out of enthusiasm, and now its staff members share the same passion, “he added.
Chairman Chauhan stated that he does not see the benefit of maintaining stakes in the company, even if they are a minority stake. When I’m not in charge, what will I do with it? he asked. Chauhan intends to refocus and engage in environmental and social issues including water harvesting, plastic recycling, and assisting the underprivileged in accessing healthcare after selling his bottled water business.
In the meantime, in 1993, he and his brother sold Coca-Cola the whole range of aerated drinks. Citra, RimZim, and Maaza were also featured in the portforlio in addition to Thums Up, Gold Spot, and Limca. In the competitive fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market, Tata Consumer is aggressively pursuing a position among the top three players. In addition, it offers Tata Copper Plus Water, Tata Gluco+, and packaged mineral water sold under the Himalayan brand.
The 82-year-old has delegated day-to-day operation of Bisleri to a qualified group led by CEO Angelo George. According to Chauhan, the Bisleri brand’s FY23 revenue was anticipated to be Rs 2,500 crore and its profit to be Rs 220 crore.
In 1965. when the packaged water company first arrived in India in Mumbai, it was an Italian company. It was bought by the Chauhans in 1969, four years later.