Global Beverages & Foods (GBF), on Wednesday, announced that it would be entering the Indian food & beverages (F&B) segment soon. GBF was started by A. Mahendran, a retired Managing Director of Godrej Consumer Products.

Rs.315 crore

GBF is looking to build a portfolio of consumer brands, and has secured an equity commitment of Rs.315 crore (about $50 million) from a consortium of investors comprising Goldman Sachs, a leading investment bank, and Mitsui Global Investment, among others.

Without providing details of the shareholding break-up, Mr. Mahendran told a press conference that the company would be entering the areas of confectionery, juices and snacks, targeting the premium, mid and mass markets. GBF will launch the brands over the next 6-9 months. “There is no sequence of categories, and they could even be launched in parallel. Details will be revealed over the next three months,’’ he said.

The company might not set up a manufacturing facility, and would follow the outsourced or contract manufacturing model, he said.

The Indian packaged and branded foods segment is estimated at Rs.1,50,000 crore. The Indian F&B segment comprises two large players in Britannia and Parle Agro and a clutch of multi-nationals such as Cadbury’s, Nestle, Heinz among others. “Our competitive strengths will be our innovation, experience in brand building and agility”.

It was not easy for Indian players to enter the F&B segment owing to lack of capital, Mr. Mahendran said.

The Rs.315-crore investment was for the organic foray but “as we progress, we can consider inorganic opportunities.”

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