Ramesh Chauhan, a veteran industrialist, told news agency PTI on Thursday that Bisleri International is in discussions with a number of players, including Tata Consumer Products Limited (TCPL), about selling its packaged water business. His remarks followed a story in the Economic Times that TPCL was planning to buy Bisleri for an astounding Rs 7,000 crore.
Ramesh Chauhan, the chairman of Bisleri, however, denied that the agreement with Tata Group had reached a conclusion and said that he was still looking for a buyer for his packaged water company. The group is in talks with a number of potential buyers, he added. The chairman of Bisleri International, Chauhan, responded, “It’s not correct… We are still discussing” when questioned about the rumours that he had decided to sell his firm to the Tata Group company.
In the meanwhile, TCPL added that it will issue the proper announcements in accordance with the rules as and when such a need arrives. The Tata Group company also stated in a regulatory filing that it is in talks with Bisleri International for the growth and expansion of the business of the company. Since many years, Ramesh Chauchan has led Bisleri, a market leader in the packaged water segment.
As part of the segment, a number of businesses compete, including Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)’s Rail Neer, Bailley from Parle Agro, PepsiCo’s Aquafina, and Coca-Cola India through its brand Kinley. However, all of these businesses fall short of Bisleri. The company is also present in the fizzy beverage market with brands like PinaColada, Spicy, Limonata, and Fonzo.
In addition, Chauhan created a number of super brands, including ThumsUp, Gold Spot, Maaza, and Limca, which the Coca-Cola Company acquired in 1993 after reentering the Indian market. In the meantime, TCPL, which was created by joining Tata Chemicals’ consumer products business with Tata Global Beverages, aims to become a dominant player in the FMCG sector by stepping outside of its comfort zone and expanding into new markets.
In its most recent annual report, TCPL stated, “with strong product innovation, investment in strengthening our brands and strategic acquisitions, we are well on track in our journey to become a leading FMCG company”.