Tata Group Offers To Buy Stake In Bisleri International
The Tata Group has proposed to buy a stake in the Ramesh Chauhan-owned, India’s largest packaged water company – Bisleri International.
The Tata Group has made an approach to Bisleri for a stake acquisition since it is very interested in the company and hopes to grow it eventually.
In addition to bulk water distribution, this would provide the Tatas a significant presence in the following industries, according to officials.
- Packaged drinking water across the entry-level.
- Mid-segment & premium packaged water categories.
- A ready-to-market network across retail stores, chemist channels, institutional channels, including hotels, restaurants and airports.
Every one of these channels is led by Bisleri mineral water.
Tata Group’s Tata Consumer Business
In recent post-earnings investor calls, chief executive Sunil D’Souza stated that the Tata Group’s Tata Consumer business, which supplies Tetley tea, Eight O’Clock coffee, Soulful cereals, salt, and pulses in addition to running Starbucks cafés, is aggressively investigating strategic acquisitions.
He had stated that a “important component” of the expansion strategy will involve inorganic development.
Tata Consumer operates its own bottled water division under the name NourishCo, but it is still a specialized industry.
The executive continued, “The Tatas are open to either acquiring a stake through Tata Consumer, or at group level.”
Business Expansions of Bisleri International
According to statistics on its website, Bisleri has over than 150 manufacturing facilities and a network of more than 4,000 distributors plus 5,000 trucks spread throughout India.
In addition to selling premium Vedica Himalayan spring water, which it leads in under the Bisleri brand franchise, Bisleri International also sells mineral water.
Along with a minor business of hand cleaners, it furthermore distributes carbonated beverages such Limonata and Spyci, as well as soda and fruit drinks. To deliver goods directly to customers, like bulk 20-litre packs and smaller bottles starting at 250 ml and going up to 1 litre, it also has its own app called Bisleri@Doorstep.
According to the aforementioned executive, “the management team has set a target to reach a turnover of Rs 5,000 crore within four years and is far ahead of the objectives.”
Coca-Cola’s Kinley & PepsiCo’s Aquafina Are Behind ‘Bisleri’
An official claimed, citing Nielsen data, that Bisleri, which holds a share of roughly 32% of the organized market for packaged water, ahead of both Kinley (by Coca Cola) and Aquafina (by PepsiCo).
However, the market for bottled water continues to be very competitive, with a significant presence of unorganized firms.
Bisleri Denied To Reliance Nestle & Danone
According to prior statements made by Chauhan, if he decides to sell an interest in Bisleri, it will go to “someone Indian… who will market and expand the brand.”
As a long-standing business with strong brand equity, Bisleri has drawn interest from a number of parties, including Reliance Retail, which has recently made multiple acquisitions to aggressively expand its consumer presence across categories like food, beverage, and personal care.
Another executive referenced above stated, “Recent talks with Reliance Retail did not materialize, though Reliance was very keen.”
In 2002–2003, the international behemoths Nestle and Danone courted Chauhan for stock purchases.
The bottled water segment was then, as it is now, a quickly expanding but challenging and fragmented industry, and both international corporations aspired to increase their position there. There was no progress in those discussions.