India’s Bisleri International is in talks to sell itself to salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group, the packaged water company’s chairman, Ramesh Chauhan, said in an interview with TV channel CNBC-TV18. Chauhan, however, denied during his interview that a deal was being finalized. Earlier, the Economic Times reported citing Chauhan that Tata Consumer Products would buy the company for up to 70 billion rupees.
Bisleri which competes with Coca-Cola Co’s Kinley and PepsiCo Inc’s Aquafina and Tata Consumer Products did not respond to Reuters requests for comment. Chauhan could not be reached for comment.
Chauhan, who launched Bisleri in 1969 as per the company’s website, is known for creating famous homegrown soft-drink brands, including ThumsUp, Gold Spot, Citra, Maaza, and Limca. He sold the soft-drinks portfolio to Coca-Cola in 1993.
The Tata Group houses its consumer business under Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL) which also sells packaged mineral water under the brand Himalayan and with brands such as Tata Copper Plus Water and Tata Gluco in the hydration segment.
The Indian bottled water market was valued at over USD 2.43 billion (around ₹19,315 crores) in FY2021, said a report from market research and advisory TechSci Research.
The reporter added It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.25 percent on account of increasing disposable income, rising health and hygiene awareness, and increasing product innovation.
Bottled water is gaining popularity among consumers because it is thought to be more hygienic than loose normal water in the market, which is not good for health and is unsafe to drink the report said. several companies including Coca-Cola India through its brand Kinley, PepsiCo’s Aquafina, Bailley from Parle Agro, and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Rail Neer compete in the segment but they all trail the market leader Bisleri.