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FMCG Industry Snapshot

Weener Plastics Packaging buys out India-based subsidiary


The company acquired a minority share in the business eight years ago, and says
that it has now acquired the remaining shares in the Indian business to give it total
ownership. Although neither terms and condition of the price of the acquisition
was disclosed, the company did confirm that the acquisition was completed on
December 21st, 2013.Seven manufacturing facilities throughout India. The deal
taps into seven manufacturing facilities located throughout India, where a variety
of plastic packaging is produced for the personal care, food and pharmaceutical
industries. This acquisition is aligned to our strategy of enhancing our footprint in
the emerging markets. WEPL has performed well in the past years and we target to
add to this growth further in the coming years, Roel Zeevat, CEO of Weener Plastic
Packaging Group, said.The acquisition is not likely to make any difference to the
current structure of the business inIndia, with managing director A.B. Gupta and
director Abhinav Gupta retaining their positions at the top of the executive board.
Further organic expansion on the horizon However, the acquisition is likely to fuel
further expansion of the business, with Weener Plastics Packaging stating its
intention to increase its organic growth through continued expansion in the fast
moving consumer goods category.

Private equity firms invest about Rs 940 crore in agri-logistics and cold chain
industry in past three years
India, with an extremely high rate of food wastage, is seeing an increasing interest
from private equity investors in the agri-logistics and cold chain industry,
attracting high valuations for their scalable and high growth businesses. PE firms

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have invested about $151.55 million (Rs 940 crore) in 11 companies in the sector
in the past three years, according to Venture Intelligence. Sohan Lal Commodity
received the largest investment of $33 million so far by Everstone, Mayfield, Nexus
Ventures and ICICI Bank. More investments are lined up for the year ahead. "There
are at least 8-10 companies in the market looking to raise funds. Anybody who has
annual revenue of more than Rs 10 crore is looking," said Hemendra Mathur,
managing director, SEAF India Agribusiness International Fund. Agri-logistics and
cold chain companies, which are seeing revenue growth anywhere between 20 per
cent and 100 per cent annually, are hoping to raise anywhere betweenRs 15 crore
and Rs 100 crore each, to scale operations across the country, a necessity for
growing this business faster. Suri Agrofresh, which is half owned by Europe's Total
Produce, is looking to dilute 10-20 per cent equity in the company, its managing
director Hitin Suri told ET. It has been in talks with more than 10 private equity
firms. Some other companies scouting for private equity are Origo Commodities,
Dev Bhumi Cold Chains, Scheduler Logistics and IG International.

Sugar mills high on production, ISMA eyeing govt incentives


Sugar mills have produced 1.95 lakh tonnes of raw sugar in less than two months,
140% more than 0.81 lakh tonne raw sugar produced during the whole of last
sugar season 2012-13. According to Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), it
clearly shows that mills are eager to produce more and more of raw sugar for
exports. "The pace of raw sugar production will improve if the government quickly
announces the incentives it intends to give for raw sugar production. This timing of
the announcement is important especially because only about 90 days of peak

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crushing season remains, which can be utilised by the mills, mostly in the coastal
states," stated an ISMA release. After a sluggish start, sugarcane crushing has
picked up pace by the end of Decemer, 2013. ISMA estimate for sugar production
during 2013-14 stands at 250 lakh tonnes. According to ISMA, 476 mills started
their crushing operations by December 31, 2013 for the 2013-14 season.
"Although this is 23 less in numbers than last year during same corresponding
period, but it seems that the sugar production is slowly catching up the last year's
trend," stated the release. Total sugar production in the country till December 31 is
about 57.39 lakh tonnes, a decline of about 29%, as compared to 80.32 lakh tonne
sugar production last year same time. It was 50% less on December 15. Lower
production this year is due to late start of mills because of the cane pricing
problem

Southern beauty salon brand Naturals is expanding in the North and soon
expects to have a national footprint
This is yet another case of a regional player with national ambitions. Southern
beauty salon brand Naturals is now expanding its presence in the North, and hopes
to soon have a national footprint. The chain recently opened a new salon at the JW
Marriott at the Aerocity, making it its 30 store in the North. We have seen a
window of opportunity, and are looking to become the best national brand of
beauty salons in the country, says C.K. Kumaravel, CEO Naturals. The decade old
Naturals is a dominant presence in the beauty business in the southern part of the
country, with more than 125 franchisee-run salons in Chennai alone. It's also
expanded into small towns of Tamil Nadu such as Thanjavur and Chidambaram,

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and now has 300 salons across the country. Now, Kumaravel says the brand has
drawn up ambitions to scale it up by ten times to 3000 salons by 2017. According
to a Ficci-PwC report, the size of the hair and beauty salon business in India is
around Rs 7,000 crore and expected to double by 2015. It's a pretty crowded space
with literally every neighbourhood in India having a beauty salon. But Kumaravel
says he is clear on his target audience, and does not fear competition. He claims
that while there are many established luxury salon brands in the north, that
segment forms only 5 per cent of the market. His positioning is mass premium,
which he says, forms the largest chunk of the salon business with about 75 per cent
market share. And his belief is that capturing this segment will make him a
national brand. Kumaravel might be taking a leaf out of his brother C K
Ranganathans copybook . CavinKare, the Chennai headquartered FMCG company
started by Ranganathan, has seen some of its brands such as Nyle successfully go
national.

Consumer price index up 2 points in November


Retail inflation for industrial workers inched up marginally to 11.47 per cent in
November compared to 11.06 per cent in October and 9.55 per cent in the same
month last year due to higher prices of food items. The yearonyear inflation
measured by monthly Consumer Price IndexIndustrial Workers (CPIIW) stood at
11.47 per cent for November, 2013, as compared to 11.06 per cent for the previous
month and 9.55 per cent during the corresponding month of the previous year, a
Labour Ministry statement said. The all India CPIIW for November rose by 2
points and pegged at 243. On one month percentage change, it increased by 0.83

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per cent between October and November compared with 0.46 per cent between
the same two months a year ago. ...the food inflation stood at 16.17 per cent
against 15.02 per cent of the previous month and 10.85 per cent in during the
corresponding month of the previous year, it said. According to the press release,
the largest upward pressure to the change in the current index came from food
group contributing 2.23 percentage points to the total change. At item level, rice,
wheat, wheat atta, milk, pure ghee, garlic, potato, tomato and other vegetable
items. Tea readymade, etc. are responsible for the rise in the index. However, this
(rise in index) was compensated to some extend by groundnut oil, fresh fish,
poultry, onion, ginger, electric charges, medicine (allopathic), petrol, putting
downward pressure on the index.

This winter, milk prices wont burn your pockets


Milk procurement by dairy co-operatives and private players has started
increasing in most parts of India with progressing winters. Higher supplies could
lead to stable milk and milk product prices in the coming months. According to
officials in the animal husbandry department of the agriculture ministry, the
average daily milk procurement by major co-operatives such as Amul, Mother
Dairy and Verka have touched 336.08 lakh litre per day as on December 27. Last
year, during the same period, they were procuring 331.34 lakh litre per day. The
official added that the inventory of skimmed milk powder (SMP) stands at 11,350
tonne as against over 60,000 tonne in the previous year. Gujarat Co-operative Milk
Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which sells milk under the Amul brand, has been
procuring 152 lakh litre daily and is manufacturing 7,000-8 ,000 tonne of SMP

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monthly. "We are seeing a gradual increase in milk supply which is expected to go
up in a fortnight," said RS Sodhi, managing director, GCMMF that is the largest
dairy entity in the country and markets close to 92 lakh litre milk everyday. Milk
procurement by its district level member unions has increased by 54% in last five
years. Milk procurement increases from October till March across North and
Western India as winters make cattle more productive. Private dairies engaged
into liquid milk marketing said that by January end, peak procurement would come
and the inventory situation will improve. This could possibly lead to a stable milk
prices in the year ahead. Leading milk brand in Delhi-NCR market, Mother Dairy,
has seen a 7% increase in procurement over the previous year at 35 lakh litre per
day. "From Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, milk procurement is increasing and we
expect to build stocks over the next three months," said Mother Dairy MD S
Nagarajan. He added that it is too early to say how liquid milk prices would move
in the year ahead. Paras, the third-largest dairy brand in the Delhi-NCR after
Mother Dairy and Amul, is expecting liquid milk prices to remain stable for the
next few months.

Hindustan Unilever: Executives see job cuts following CEO Paul Polman's
move to cut cost
Dozens of top marketing managers at Hindustan Unilever are anxious that a major
global business re-organisation unleashed by Unilever Chairman Paul Polman will
result in job cuts in India, limit growth prospects for managers who survive, and
stifle local freedom and innovation. At an investor conference in London in earlyDecember, Polman announced that Unilever will cut 800 marketing jobs, slash its

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product variants by 30 per cent and focus predominantly on brands with over 1
billion euros in sales, all in a bid to save costs. Its Chief Marketing Officer Keith
Weed also hinted that the company is now more inclined to favour fewer global
advertising concepts over multiple local ideas. These measures, local managers
believe, will impact top marketing talents in India as Unilever is now asking global
marketing and brand managers to "go direct to big countries rather than through
regional hubs". "This will impact managers at work level 1 (entry level) and 2a to
2b. There will be questions at work level 4 (middle- to senior-management), from
a regional brand development and country brandbuilding perspective," says a
former Unilever manager aware of the recent developments.

Coca-Cola plans aggressive ad campaign in 2014 to be India's favourite soft


drink
Coca-Cola has kicked off one of its most expensive print campaigns in recent years
in what is an off-season for soft drinks in a move seen as yet another attempt to
make the world's number one beverage brand India's favourite too. While a CocaCola India spokesman said the move complements the company's strategy to deseasonalise the soft drink business, trade insiders said the sudden splurge on
advertising reflects the Atlanta-based beverage giant's keenness to push Coke that
trails at the fourth slot in the Indian soft drinks market. "The current burst of ads
in front or full pages of most mainline national newspapers, on television and radio
is part of a (new) global mandate... it wasn't part of the company's long-term
media plan," an official of a media house said. An industry official who works
closely with the company said, "It is a clear indication that the company will go all

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out in the new year to push brand Coke." Trade sources point out that none of the
other brands in Coca-Cola's portfolio, including Thums Up, Sprite, Fanta and Maaza
soft drinks, Kinley water and Minute Maid juices, are currently being advertised.
Coca-Cola is learnt to have spent at least Rs 12-15 crore on the print burst, which is
expected to last about a week. It carries the lyrics of a jingle Prasoon Joshi wrote
for a television campaign released in early 2012. Coke is set to follow it up with a
television campaign featuring actors Deepika Padukone and Farhan Akhtar. "We
have run numerous print ads in the past for multiple integrated campaigns and
hence it will be difficult to comment whether this is the most expensive," the
company said. India is one of the rare markets where Coca-Cola is available and yet
it's not the top cola brand. Coke trails behind its own Thums Up cola and Sprite
lemon drink, as well as rival Pepsi cola in the Indian market a fact that the
Atlantabased beverage giant is uncomfortable about.

Britannia bakes a new rural growth plan


Britannia Industries, the bakery and dairy arm of the Wadia Group, is looking to
tap in to India's rural consumption story with its portfolio of value added biscuits
and cookies. Over the last five years the share of glucose biscuits, a segment that
has traditionally found favour in rural markets, has fallen from 35% to 15% of
Britannia's biscuit sales. The $1-billion company now plans to push its slightly
more premium offerings like Good Day cookies and Britannia Marie brands in to
the country's hinterland in value packs of Rs 5. "The rural consumers are also
looking for quality. They will not stay with a Parle-G or Tiger (Britannia's glucose
biscuit) for life. Agricultural income is growing pretty rapidly and consumers are

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looking to upgrade for better consumption experiences," said Varun Berry, India
business head and executive director at Britannia.

Time-bound approvals for agri, food units in Bengal


The West Bengal Government has set a time-frame to speed up the process of
approving new industries in the agriculture and food processing sectors.
Addressing a seminar on food processing and agro industry at the 26 {+t} {+h}
Industrial India Trade Fair here, State Agriculture Minister Moloy Ghatak said: We
will dispose of the applications for setting up new food processing and agriculture
related industries within 45 days. Earlier, he added, entrepreneurs used to wait
for a longer period to get clearances from the government and, at times,
applications were not reached the Department concerned on time. Ghatak also said
his department has so far distributed Kisan Credit Cards to nearly 60 lakh farmers
out of the total 71 lakh odd farmers in the State. The Minister has invited private
players to come forward and avail the sops offered by both the State and the Union
Government for setting up rice mills at 165 blocks. Stating that 20-25 per cent of
the agriculture produce gets wasted due to lack of adequate storage facilities,
Ghatak said the government has been attracting private participation to develop
more infrastructure for storing agriculture produce.

Revlon to Exit Operations in China, Cut 1,100 Jobs


Revlon Inc. (REV), the maker of cosmetics under its namesake and Almay brands,
will cease operations in China and eliminate about 1,100 positions, including 940
beauty advisers, as it restructures its struggling business. China makes up about 2

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percent of Revlons net sales, and the restructuring will result in about $22 million
of pretax charges, the New York-based company said in a filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission. The changes are expected to reduce costs by
about $11 million a year, Revlon said. The company, which posted profit declines
in 2011 and 2012, has been making acquisitions and introducing new products as
sales in some of its larger brands slow. Earlier last year it bought Colomer Group,
giving it Creative Nail professional and Shellac nail polishes, as well as American
Crew mens hair-care products. Revlon was unable to gain scale and relevance in
the important Chinese beauty market, Connie Maneaty, an analyst at BMO Capital
Markets in New York, wrote in a note yesterday. She rates the shares market
perform, the equivalent of a hold. Colomer Chief Executive Officer Lorenzo Delpani
took over as Revlons CEO in November, replacing interim chief David Kennedy.
The reorganization isnt related to the acquisition, Revlon said.

Probe into diversion of Rs 4,000 cr by United Spirits necessary


The Karnataka High Court has held that the company court was wrong in
permitting UB (Holdings) Ltd to sell the shares of United Spirits Ltd (USL) without
an investigation into serious allegation about diversion of Rs 4,000 crore to a
British Virgin Island by USL for acquiring a Scottish distillery. In its December 20
verdict of declaring as void the permission granted by a single judge bench (acting
as a company court) for selling 1.36 crore shares, a Division Bench has said that
?when such serious allegations are made, without investigation of the facts, he
(company judge) could not have granted the permission. If the aforesaid facts
(allegations) are true, it shows that the company (UBHL) has not come to the Court

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with clean hands and the transaction in question is not a bona fide one. In other
words, without investigation of serious allegations made attacking the transaction
in question, the learned company judge has granted the permission, which is not
proper, the Bench comprising Justice N. Kumar and Justice Rathnakala said.

Perfetti expands snacks portfolio


Perfetti Van Melle India (PVMI) is expanding its snacks portfolio, with the launch of
Stop Not Stixz in addition to its existing variants Golz and Disks. Stop Not Stixz
will be available in three flavours Wow Masala, Pudina Passion and Tomato
Tadka. The new range will be available across India in pack sizes of Rs 5, Rs 10 and
Rs 20. The launch will be supported with an ad campaign. Samit Srivastava, Head
Snacks Business, Perfetti Van Melle India, said We are extremely confident about
the new brand and are sure that the new TVC will help generate excitement
amongst kids.

CCI probing sugar mills for alleged price fixing


The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Monday said its director-general
(investigation) was probing allegations of price manipulation by oil marketing
companies (OMCs) and sugar mills during the bidding for ethanol blending with
petrol. Showcause notices have been sent to 18 sugar mills for alleged collusion
with OMCs to fix prices, a senior member of the commission said. Notices might
follow to OMCs. The investigation was triggered around September, on various
complaints. After a preliminary study, CCI decided to refer the matter to the DG (I).
The complainants included liquor manufacturers such as Lords Distillery and life

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sciences companies such as Jubilant Life Sciences, which uses ethanol or industrial
alcohol for making chemicals. They have alleged identical prices were quoted in
bids offered by various ethanol suppliers, especially in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat.
And, that most ethanol suppliers which colluded were either members of the
Indian Sugar Mills Association or the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar
Factories. CCI had received similar complaints earlier, against 10-12 sugar mills.

BSE includes Dabur India in S&P BSE Carbonex index


Leading stock exchange BSE has included Dabur India in the S&P BSE Carbonex,
the first of its kind index in the country that recognises companies that are
committed to climate change mitigation. Dabur's inclusion in the index is an
acknowledgement of the company's ongoing initiatives in sustainability. The S&P
BSE Carbonex is an index that holistically incorporates strategies, disclosures,
performance and action in areas of carbon emission to create a comprehensive
benchmark that identifies a company's commitment to mitigate risks arising from
climate change.

Mondelez to Sell Snackwell's Stake to Private-Equity Firm


Mondelez International Inc. has agreed to sell a controlling interest in its
SnackWell's cookie and cracker business, which helped fuel a low-fat-food craze
two decades ago, to a private-equity firm that specializes in revitalizing big
companies' faded brands. Brynwood Partners said it will combine SnackWell's
with its Back to Nature cookies and granola business.

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Tesco, Vodafone receive big-bang FDI clearances


Two days before New Year, the government on Monday approved British retail
giant Tesco Plcs plan to invest $110 million to buy 50 per cent stake in Tata
Groups Trent Hypermarket Ltd (THL). With this, Tesco will become the first
foreign player to open stores here that will sell anything from fruit to furniture.
The nod given by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) is expected to
open the doors for future investments by foreign retailers. So far the market has
been dominated by domestic players such as Tatas Trent, Future Group, Reliance
Retail and Aditya Birla Retail. While in its application the company has stated that
it will invest $110 million (around Rs 680 crore), the amount could be scaled up
later depending on how operations expand in the initial three to four years, a
senior official told Business Standard.

Brand Amul to spread to America


Come February, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, which owns and
markets the Amul brand of milk products, will start manufacturing ghee (butter
oil), paneer (cottage cheese) and shrikhand (a sweet dish made of strained yogurt)
from a plant near New York. Initially, three products will be manufactured at the
facility from February. There are around 3 million Indian and many more Asian
consumers whom we will target in the initial phase, said R. S. Sodhi, Managing
Director of the Federation. The dairy major has joined hands with a New Jerseybased non-resident Indian to use his plant. Earlier this year, Kaira (Anand) District
Cooperative Milk Producers Union Ltd (Amul Dairy) entered into an agreement
with GCMMF and the NRI. We will provide technology and infrastructure support

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for manufacturing milk products, Sodhi told Business Line. Maintaining its core
cooperative structure, GCMMF will source milk from cooperative dairies in the US.

ABDs new launches likely to heat up market for premium whiskies


Allied Blenders and Distillers Pvt. Ltd (ABD) is planning to boost its offering of
pricier whiskies by launching a brand to take on Pernod Ricards Royal Stag label,
one of the fastest growing whisky brands in recent years. ABD, the maker of Indias
largest selling liquor brand Officers Choice, will launch Officers Choice Black over
the next month and introduce another premium product over the next year, chief
executive Deepak Roy said in an interview. Officers Choice Black will be launched
first in Kolkata and Delhi and its price will be similar to Royal Stags, Roy said. A
180ml bottle of Royal Stag costs Rs.90 in Delhi. We always had the strategy of
upgrading the Officers Choice brand right up to the semi-premium-plus category.
The first test was to do Officers Choice Blue and that has worked very well, so now
the time has come for us to move to the next level, Roy said. The brand launches
are part of ABDs strategy to reduce dependence on its Officers Choice whisky,
which costs as less as Rs.55 in some markets but still generates more than 80-85%
of the companys sales. ABD, Indias third largest distiller, has launched several
premium products such as Officers Choice Blue, Jolly Roger rum, Lord and Master
brandy and Gorbatschow vodka over the past few years with mixed success.

BSE sets circuit limit of 10% for United Breweries scrip


The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has revised the circuit limits for share
movement of Vijay Mallya- led United Breweries (Holdings) Ltd. and six other

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companies, as part of surveillance action. The new limits, which ensure that stock
prices dont go up or down beyond a level during a trading session, will be effective
from Thursday. BSE said in a circular that the price of UB (Holdings) Ltd. cannot
change by more than 10% in a day. It has also set an upper limit of 10% for Viceroy
Hotels Ltd., Global Capital Markets Ltd., Mavens Biotech Ltd. and Transport
Corporation of India Ltd. While the limits for UB Engineering Ltd. and Prime
Industries Ltd. have been set at 5% and 2%.

New chief executives to steer consumer goods firms in 2014


Having seen off a year marked by economic stress, consumer goods companies will
rest their hopes of a smoother ride in 2014 on a clutch of new chief executives. The
last three months of 2013 saw a bunch of new leaders taking charge of packaged
consumer goods makers which were under pressure during the year as retail
inflation, hovering around double digits, and slower economic growth, which
slumped to a decades low of 5% in the year to March, forced households and
individuals to cut spending. On 9 December, beverage maker PepsiCo India
Holdings Pvt. Ltd named D. Shivakumar the companys new chairman and chief
executive officer (CEO) for the India region. Shivakumar, a former senior executive
at Finnish handset maker Nokia Oyj, succeeded Manu Anand, who left the company
in June this year. In October, three other large consumer goods companies
appointed new leaders. Sanjiv Mehta took over as managing director and CEO of
Indias largest consumer products company Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) in place
of Nitin Paranjpe, who has joined the Unilever Leadership Executive as president,

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home care.

Chhattisgarh and MP tops Spencer's expansion plan


Spencers retail limited, Indias leading chain of retail stores, has identified
Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh as potential states for its expansion plan.We
have chosen Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh as growth engine for future,
Spencers retail limited President and Chief Executive Officer Mohit Kampani said
after inaugurating the Hypermarket in Raipur Friday afternoon. Kampani said they
were looking to add nine stores in next two years in Chhattisgarh and Madhya
Pradesh. Both the states have many towns that have high potential for retail stores,
he added. We are very aggressively expanding our footprint in the country and are
in the process of opening 12 hypermarkets by the end of the current financial year
in chosen geographies, Kampani said, adding that Raipur store would be the sixth
in the series. With its foray in Chhattisgarh capital, Spencer had entered into 38th
city across the country.

Mallyas move to sell UB stake to Heineken hits a bump


Vijay Mallyas move to sell up to 13 per cent stake in United Breweries Ltd to joint
venture partner Heineken NV is understood to have hit a hurdle over the pricing
issue. Talks between the two have seen several ups and downs, but only recently
have they entered into a critical phase, sources in the company told Business Line.
The Dutch brewer wants to buy the stake from Mallya based on the prevailing
market price, which has been hovering between Rs 755 and Rs 800 over the past
six months. But with United Breweries holding over 50 per cent market share in

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the domestic market, negotiators acting on behalf of Mallya insist they deserve a
good premium. A UB Group spokesperson, however, denied any such plan to
offload the stake, but sources said the negotiations have been going on between
the two for over a year now. If the deal goes through, Heineken will end up with
slightly over 50 per cent stake in United Breweries, the makers of popular
Kingfisher and Kalyani Black Label beers. It will also mean that about 80 per cent
of the total market will be controlled by Heineken and SAB Miller, both foreign
multinationals, thus ending the dominance of Indian business houses in the
segment. The stake sale will allow Mallya and his companies to mop up between Rs
2,000 crore and Rs 2,250 crore, depending on the premium he is able to get over
the existing share price. One of the reasons for Mallya to divest part of his stake in
United Breweries could be to reduce his debt. But he could also be looking at
getting better valuations from international liquor companies, which see a huge
potential in the Indian market.

Gillette India director Saroj Poddar resigns


Saroj Poddar has resigned as director of Gillette India in order to comply with
market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of Indias (Sebis) public
shareholding norms. Poddar has tendered his resignation as director of the
company with effect from December 26, vide his email dated December 26, Gillette
said in a BSE filing on Friday. Poddar, the founder director and chairman of Gillette,
earlier disposed off 7.87% stake in the shaving products maker through the offerfor-sale (OFS) route to re-classify his group as a public shareholder in order to
increase the minimum public shareholding of the company to 25% as per Indias

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shareholding rules. After the reclassification of Poddar Group, Procter and Gamble
(P&G) became the sole promoter in the company. The OFS by the Poddar Group for
7.87% of their holding in Gillette was fully subscribed in the last month. Now,
Adventz chief Poddar holds the remaining 4.99% stake in the company.

CCI okays United Spirits deal to sell Tamil Nadu distillery


Fair trade watchdog CCI has cleared Vijay Mallya-led United Spirits' proposed sale
of a distillery in Tamil Nadu to Enrica Enterprises, as the deal does not raise
adverse competition concerns. The deal involves hiving off entire operations at the
unit of United Spirits Ltd (USL) that manufactures Indian Made Foreign Spirits
(IMFS) to Enrica "by way of slump sale on a going concern basis". The unit is
located at Poonamallee, Chennai. Post-deal, Enrica would make certain IMFS
brands of United Spirits using technology and know-how and under the trademark
of the Vijay Mallya firm. In an order dated December 26, the Competition
Commission of India (CCI) said "the proposed combination is not likely to have an
appreciable adverse effect on competition in India and therefore, the Commission
hereby approves the proposed combination under...the (Competition) Act".
According to the Commission, the manufacture and sale of IMFS in Tamil Nadu "is
highly regulated by the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation, which has the
exclusive privilege of conducting trade in IMFS in Tamil Nadu".

40 % food products get damaged due to poor packaging: IIP


About 35-40 per cent of food products are being damaged or lost due to poor
packaging in India, a top official of the Indian Institute of Packaging said today.

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Either flavour of products was getting less or the food was getting stale due to
improper packaging, particularly processed food made by cottage industries,
which use candle and sealing machine to pack the covers, Madhav Chakraborthy,
Joint Director, IIP, Hyderabad told reporters here. Moreover, there was some
stipulated norms in packaging food products, depending on its shelf life and also
marketing, whether domestic or export, which a large section of the producers
were not adhering to, he said. Chakraborthy, here as part of a National workshop
in packaging of whole and ground spices, jointly organised by Ministry of Food
Processing Industries, tomorrow, said there was the need to create awareness
among traders and also general public in this regard. The aim of the workshop is to
enhance the knowledge of packaging among the producers of whole and ground
spices, with a view to increasing their local trade besides its export potential,
Chakraborthy said.

Farmers can sell directly in Cong-ruled states


Congress-ruled states will delist "fruits and vegetables" from their Agricultural
Produce Markets Committee (APMC) Act by January 15, a move that would give
free choice to farmers to sell their produce directly in markets. The move to
remove middlemen is seen as an effective way to check hoarding and price rise.
The decision was taken at a meeting of 12 Congress chief ministers with party vicepresident Rahul Gandhi to discuss ways to curb inflation, a sensitive political issue
that has gained urgency in the party ranks after the rout in recent assembly
elections. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had identified high food prices as a reason
that influenced voters against the party. Congress has also asked its CMs to crack

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down on hoarders and black marketing by invoking Essential Commodities Act


stringently and by putting the "chronic offenders" behind the bars.

Oil India to enter dairy sector; inks pact with Irma for study
As part of a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, energy major Oil India
Ltd (OIL) has decided to step into dairy sector and has signed an agreement with
Institute of Rural Management, Anand (Irma) to carry out a feasibility study.
According to company sources, a detailed project report (DPR) would be prepared
after the study in two districts of Assam where Oil India has significant presence.
"It is going to be a significant CSR initiative of the company. This project is aimed at
filling the gap in milk production in the North-East and giving employment
opportunity to the youths of Assam," a source said. The state-run OIL has signed an
memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Irma in Gujarat around 10 days ago
for the study that will cover select villages in Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts of
the state.

Brigade Enterprises buys Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages land for Rs.68.83


crore
Brigade Enterprises Ltd, a Bangalore-based real estate company, bought 2.25 acres
of land in Bangalore from Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd, the largest
bottling partner of The Coca-Cola Co. in India, for Rs.68.83 crore. The company, in a
statement on Friday, said it will use the land at Hebbal in north Bangalore for
developing a prime real estate project. Brigade Enterprises, which has
commercial, residential and hospitality projects across south India, said it had a

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land bank of 241 acres worth Rs.5,370 crore in Bangalore as of 30 September. The
presence of information technology and business outsourcing companies in
Bangalore has pushed up demand for commercial and residential properties in the
city, and real estate companies are scouting for industrial land in key locations to
cater to the demand, say property experts. Bangalore was the only Indian city to
feature in a list of top 20 real estate investment destinations in Asia Pacific in a
report published this month by the Urban Land Institute and
PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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