Hector Beverages denies talks with Tatas for Paper Boat sale

Tata Global Beverages Ltd is reported to have approached prominent shareholders of Hector Beverages seeking to buy out the firm and its popular beverages brand Paper Boat.

"Paper Boat is one brand that they are keen on as it has already created significant brand equity," sources told The Economic Times.

The talks around acquiring Paper Boat are still at an exploratory stage and there is no certainty that it will lead to a transaction, the report says.

Hector Beverages, founded in 2010 by former Coca Cola executives Neeraj Kakkar and Neeraj Biyani, has successfully commercialised Indian ethnic drinks like aamras, jaljeera and aam panna and created a niche for Paper Boat in the country.

Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran is keen to expand the beverage entity's portfolio and wants the group firm to move beyond tea, coffee and water and challenge PepsiCo or Nestle, ET's sources said. Tata is looking at the dairy segment for their expansion plans.

Top officials at Hector approached by ET denied the information. "We are strongly committed to building a long-term, sustainable, and most importantly an independent business ... there has never been any discussion with Tata Global Beverages or anybody else for that matter regarding a strategic investment or sell-out," Kakkar of Hector Beverages told the paper.

The Tata Group declined to comment.

Kakkar categorically denied any discussion with Tata Global Beverages or a possible sale.

''We have complete support and ready patronage of our bouquet of investors, which includes our majority stakeholders, Catamaran and Sequoia,'' he told ET.