Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL), the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) arm of Tata Group, is reportedly in talks to acquire Bisleri International in a deal worth ₹6,000-7,000 crore. The acquisition of Bisleri, which is a synonym for mineral water in India, will help the Tata Group to expand its presence in the fast-growing Indian bottled water market. The consumer products company already sells packaged mineral water under the brands Himalayan and Tata Copper Plus Water and Tata Gluco+ in the hydration segment.

Despite the stiff competition in the packaged drinking water industry, Bisleri is the market leader in India with a share of 60% in the bottled water segment. The other key players which compete in this sector are Coca-Cola India’s brand Kinley, PepsiCo's Aquafina, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC)'s Rail Neer, and Bailley from Parle Agro.

As per report, Bisleri International’s chairman Ramesh J Chauhan has finalised the deal with Tata Group, which has been going on for two years, after meeting with Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran and Tata Consumer CEO Sunil D'Souza. Several other major players such as billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail, FMCG major Nestle, and French multinational food-products company Danone were also in the fray to acquire the packaged water maker.

Boosted by the development, Tata Consumer Products share price opened 2.5% higher at ₹790, against the previous closing price of ₹770.8 on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Extending opening gains, the stock gained as much as 3.1% to hit an intraday high of ₹794.90, while market capitalisation surged to ₹73,382.6 crore.

The share price of Tata Consumer has fallen over 1% in the last one year, while it climbed 10.5% in the six month period. The largcap stock has risen 3% in a month, while it climbed 5.6% in the calendar year 2022. The stock hit a 52-week high of ₹861.35 on September 14, 2022, while a 52-week low of ₹650.75 on March 7, 2022.

Tata Consumer Products and Bisleri are yet to issue any official statement on the potential deal.  

Commenting on the media speculation, TCPL spokesperson says, “The company evaluates various strategic opportunities for growth and expansion of the business of the Company, on an ongoing basis. TCPL remains in discussions with various parties, including Bisleri International Private Limited. The company will make appropriate announcement/disclosures as and when any such requirement arises. At this point in time, there is no further information to be provided with respect to the said media report.”

Tata Consumer Products is one of India’s fastest growing FMCG companies, offering a wide range of products such as tea, coffee, water, ready-to-drink, salt, pulses, spices, ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat offerings, breakfast cereals, snacks and mini meals.

For the July-September quarter of the current fiscal (Q2 FY23), Tata Consumer Products reported 22.4% year-on-year growth in its consolidated net profit at ₹328 crore, while revenue rose 11% to ₹3,363 crore. The consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) increased 5% YoY to ₹434 crore in Q2 FY23, while the operating margin declined by 73 basis points to 12.90% amid inflationary pressures, higher input costs, and weakness in domestic currency.

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