The Telegraph
Friday , November 22 , 2013
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Dalda plant hope

Calcutta, Nov. 21: Bunge India Private Ltd, owners of Dalda, a vanaspati and edible oils brand, is mulling an acquistion to expand in Bengal, preferably near a port.

The company is eyeing a 500-metric-tonnes-a-day facility to cater to the eastern region. At present, it has a manufacturing capacity of around 2,000 metric tonnes a day at plants in Trichy (Tamil Nadu), Kandla (Gujarat), Bundi (Rajasthan) and Rajpura (Punjab).

The proposed plant in Bengal is part of the company’s plan to grow capacity by another 1,500 metric tonnes a day within a year at an investment of about Rs 700-800 crore.

“We have a plan to expand in the east and it has to be in Bengal. Plans are in an early stage,” said Dinesh Agrawal, business head, Dalda.

“We mostly get into inorganic ways of acquisition. We are looking for partners. Bengal has its unique advantages as it has the Haldia port,” he said.

“We are looking to have a facility with a 500 metric tonnes per day capacity which will have scaleability,” Agrawal said.

This will produce Dalda vanaspati, palm oil, soya oil and sunflower oil and will provide for its Masterline brand of bakery fats that serves its business-to-business vertical.

While investments will vary according to the location of the plant, the company expects a capacity of this nature to cost anywhere between Rs 70 crore and Rs 200 crore. The Indian edible oil market is pegged at 18 million tonnes a year where 1.6MT is branded and packed.

Bunge India is a 100 per cent subsidiary of US-based agri-business major Bunge Ltd, which acquired the Dalda brand from Hindustan Unilever in 2003.

“We envisage a 15 per cent year-on-year growth in edible oils against an industry average of 6-8 per cent. For us, vanaspati is growing by 18 per cent in volume terms. But the category as a whole is declining by 4 per cent,” he said.