TCPL eyes buyouts
Tata Consumer Products Ltd (TCPL), the fast moving consumer goods arm of salt-to-software Tata Group, will look for acquisitions to scale up businesses across all the existing verticals and enter new categories. Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Group, said TCPL has identified inorganic expansion as one of the key strategies for growth and the company would utilise cash on the books for this purpose.
“Somebody asked if there is going to be acquisition in water. Yes, we will continue to look for any expansive opportunities both in the water side and on the food and beverage side and into completely new categories which may come through acquisitions,” Chandrasekaran informed shareholders at the annual general meeting of TCPL.
In the last 18 months, the company acquired Soulfull to enter the breakfast cereal space and Tata Q (from a group company) to cater to the high-margin ready-to-eat category food segment. Elaborating on TCPL’splans ahead, the chairman said the consolidation of the portfolio within the company and Tata Group has taken place in the last three years, apart from beefing up the distribution channel. With new products being added across food, beverage and water portfolios, the distribution is being scaled up. He said the capital expenditure of TCPL in the last fiscal was Rs 250 crore and it would be Rs 361 crore this year.
He highlighted two of the company’s businesses, packaged drinking water portfolio under Himalayan and coffee chain joint venture Tata Starbucks, have broken even on an EBIT level. Chandrasekaran also informed that rationalisation ofTCPL’s international business is on and the company would focus on three key markets —the US, the UK and Canada —going forward.