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Tata Group acquires 30 pc stake in Glaceau

Written by: Staff

Mumbai, Aug 23: Tata Tea Ltd has decided, subject to receipt of necessary approvals, if any, to invest in acquiring a shareholding in Energy Brands Inc USA (EBI).

EBI, commonly known as Glaceau is engaged in the high growth business of enhanced water and markets Vitaminwater, Smartwater, Fruitwater and other things.

The Company has informed BSE that the Board of Directors of the Company at its meeting held on August 23 this year along with its Promoter, Tata Sons Ltd (subject to approval of its Board) will together acquire 30 per cent shareholding in EBI with an aggregate investment of USD 677 million.

Meanwhile, J Darius Bikoff, Glace Founder and CEO told mediapersons here this evening, ''I want to thank all the people who have made vitaminwater so popular and told their friends about it. Now millions more across the country looking for something healthier to drink can finally go out and get their own bottle of vitaminwater.''

Mr R K Krishna Kumar, Vice Chairman of Tata Tea and director of Tata Sons also stated, ''This transaction ensusres that Glaceau continues to meet the explosive demand for its vitaminwater brand fueled by America's health and wellness revolution. Tata Group's investment in Glaceau strengthens its U.S presence and provides opportunities for global growth for Tata's beverage business.'' This transaction, which was approved by Tata Sons and Tata Tea's Boards of directors at meeting held earlier today is being made through Tata Tea GB Ltd, which includes Tetley Tea's operators worldwide.

''Glaceau is part of a very exciting strong business and provides Tata Tea an opportunity to be present in the unfolding crossover space in the beverage market. We believe that the whole Glaceau product line of vitaminwater, smartwater and fruitwater will help us expand our beverage business in North America,'' he added.

The Tata Group headquartered in Mumbai, had U S revenue of more than USD 1.97 billion and global revenues of USD 22 billion in 2005-06. The Tata Group has had a US presence since 1945 and its growing North American beverage business, which includes Tetley Tea, Good Earth Teas and Eight O'clock Coffee, is a key part of its global stretegy.

Glaceau brands include vitaminwater, which is nutrient enhanced, smartwater which is electrolyte-enhanced and fruitwater, which flavor-enhanced. ''The good news for our employees, distributors and retailers who are responsible for our success is that this partnership ensusres our continued independence. We appreciate and value TSG Consumer Partners' support for the Company and its management,'' Mr Mike Repole, President of Glaceau added.


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