Packaged water brand Bisleri International is in talks to sell itself to Tata Group, several media reports stated. The company’s chairperson Ramesh Chauhan, denied that a ₹7,000 crore deal has been completed with Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL). However, he admitted he wants to sell Bisleri and is discussing the terms with the Indian conglomerate.
The 82-year-old pioneer of the Indian packaged water business started the company in 1969.
His decision to sell the company stems from the lack of an apparent heir whom he can hand over the business. When inquired about why he is selling Bisleri 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 told PTI.
Bisleri competes with Coca-Cola Co’s Kinley and PepsiCo Inc’s Aquafina in the packaged water segment. The company gained popularity with its domestic soft-drink brands including ThumsUp, Gold Spot, Citra, Maaza and Limca. He later sold the soft-drinks portfolio to Coca-Cola in 1993.
Of these brands, Thums Up has already turned into a billion-dollar brand and Coca-Cola anticipates fruit drinks brand Maaza also to be a billion-dollar brand by 2024.
Chauhan re-entered the soft drinks segment in 2016, by starting “Bisleri POP” but failed to establish that popularity again.
Tata Consumer sells Tata Salt, Himalayan mineral water and runs a food and beverages chain joint venture with Starbucks in India.