Tata Tea Ltd has formed a joint venture with China''s Zhejiang Tea Import and Export
Company to manufacture and market tea and allied value-added products in China.
Tata Tea would own 70 per cent of the joint venture, the cost of which is
estimated at Rs70 crore ($17 million). The project would be funded through a mix
of equity and debt, Tata Tea said.
The pact was signed at an event at
Anji County in Zhejiang and the project will come up at the economic development
zone there, the statement said.
Anji County is also known as the City
of Angel, China town of bamboo and China town of white tea.
venture will manufacture and market green tea extracts, cold and hot water soluble
instant tea, liquid tea concentrates and other beverages, the statement said.
"This project is of great strategic importance for the Tata group
in reaching out to the Chinese and Far East markets. " said Percy T Siganporia,
managing director at Tata Tea.
The 125-year-old Tata group has been the
most aggressive among Indian companies in looking to expand overseas, after thriving
for decades in a protected Indian market.
Tata Tea has made several overseas
acquisitions in recent years, including Britain''s Tetley, Eight O Clock Coffee
in the United States and Czech tea company Jemca. Last year, it paid $677 million
to buy a strategic 30 per cent stake in New York-based Energy
Brands Inc. that makes the Glaceau brand of flavored water.
project in China is part of Tata Tea''s plan to become the No. 1 beverage company
in the world, the statement said.