Balmer Lawrie, which announced its decision to exit its tea business last year, has sold its tea packing and blending unit to a private tea-packer and exporter for Rs.1.50 crore.

“We have bought the tea packing and blending machinery of Balmer Lawrie,” Sumit Shah, Executive Director, Madhu Jayanti International Ltd. (MJIL), said. MJIL is a 70-year-old tea company which has marked its presence in the value-added segment.

It is engaged in packaged tea business selling over 11,000 tonnes of tea annually in packet and bag forms. It sells through its own brands as well as to private labels. Its turnover stood at Rs.350 crore in 2013-14.

B-to-C segment

Mr. Shah said that the company, which was mostly present in the B-to-B market, was now entering the B-to-C segment with the launch of a range of tea bags comprising 17 variants.

The tea bag market in India is at present pegged at Rs.200 crore and with increased use of such bags in urban areas, the market is expected to expand to Rs.1,000 crore in seven years.

MJIL also exports blended and packaged tea to nearly 80 major retailers in 42 countries. Markets where it has a major presence are: Russia, Europe, West Asia and West Africa.

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