Tata Global Beverages looks to sell stake in international operations: report

Tata Global Beverages Ltd (TGB), the $1.5-billion branded tea giant is in talks to sell a 20-per cent stake in its international operations to a strategic investor, the Financial Times reported yesterday.

The world's second-biggest tea group is close to finalising the deal in the next few months. The move comes after TGB failed to conclude a deal with private equity firms, said the paper.

Krishna Kumar, TGB's vice chairman said, "There are quite a large number of strategic players who have come to us. So it's a process of carefully analysing what is a good fit and then moving further down the road."

The company reported a 35-per cent decline in consolidated net profit for the year ended 31 March to Rs254.33 crore as against Rs390.30 crore last year. This was on the back of an increase in input and advertising costs.

In April last year TGB, the owner of Tetley Tea, announced a tie-up with PepsiCo and was expected to explore the possibility of establishing a joint venture for global distribution of its products as it looks to achieving revenues of $5 billion by 2015.

Kolkata-based TGB has already made over 10 overseas acquisitions in the beverage segment at a cost of more than $1.5 billion in order to expand its product range and enter new markets.