After extensive negotiations, Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL) is poised to become the frontrunner in the acquisition race for Capital Foods Pvt Ltd, the company behind renowned food brands such as Ching’s Secret and Smith & Jones, as reported by The Economic Times (ET).
In ongoing discussions, TCPL is nearing an agreement to purchase a substantial 65-70 percent stake in Capital Foods from its current investors, with plans to gradually acquire the remaining shares over time. The valuation of Capital Foods in this deal stands at a noteworthy Rs 5,500 crore. Notably, other contenders vying for a piece of the action include global giants Nestle SA, with Kotak Mahindra providing advisory support to TCPL throughout the transaction.
The origins of this acquisition pursuit trace back to 2022 when Capital Foods’ major shareholders collectively decided to explore the sale of the company. These three key stakeholders include US-based private equity firm General Atlantic, holding a 35 percent stake; European family office Invus Group, with a 40 percent stake; and Ajay Gupta, founder chairman of Capital Foods, who maintains a 25 percent ownership interest. According to insiders, Gupta is expected to stay involved with the company for the foreseeable future.
Capital Foods had garnered significant interest from a diverse range of multinational and domestic entities, with notable suitors including ITC, Hindustan Unilever, Orkla, Nissin Foods, and McCormick. The initial asking price had been set considerably higher, nearing the $1.5 billion mark (approximately Rs 12,442 crore).
Back in September, Business Standard reported that TCPL had strategically narrowed its focus by identifying five key product categories for upcoming launches. These categories align with the company’s existing core offerings, spanning tea, coffee, and salt.
In the pantry segment, TCPL is poised to explore opportunities within pulses, spices, staples, dry fruits, and ready-to-cook offerings. Meanwhile, the mini-meals category is expected to witness TCPL’s expansion efforts in breakfast cereals, ready-to-eat products, and snacks.
Ajit Krishnakumar, Chief Operating Officer of TCPL, shared insights into the company’s strategic approach, stating, “We have taken a strategic approach to identifying key platforms we want to play in.