Bikanervala seeks to dilute 20% stake to strategic partner

Bikanervala Foods Pvt. Ltd is planning to dilute up to 20% stake to a strategic partner, says a media report. The company, which markets its sweets and savouries under the brand Bikano, believes the move will add value to its existing operations.

Citing Bikanervala CEO Suresh Goel, Business Line reported that the company is eager to rope in a mid-sized multi-national company to improve its sales, marketing, logistics and brand-building campaigns.

Goel, however, told the business daily that despite talking to institutional investors, the company decided against the move. Instead, it is looking for a partnership that would help the company sell its products through the global partner's distribution channel in its efforts to increase its global presence. Bikanervala will also be opening its restaurant-cum-stores in the US and Singapore, the report said.

An email query sent to Bikanervala did not elicit any response till the time of filing of this report.

The company runs about 50 store-cum-restaurants in India, Nepal, the UAE and New Zealand. It had started as a snacks maker, but has gradually expanded to other categories including beverage and cookies.

The company has five manufacturing units. It caters to the domestic market, as well as its markets across Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia and the US.

Bikanervala posted net sales of Rs 531.4 crore in 2015-16, against Rs 492.6 crore in the year-ago period. Its margins stood at Rs 22.1 crore, compared to Rs 20.5 crore during the period under consideration, as per the filings with the Registrar of Companies.

The company’s plans to tie up with a strategic partner comes at a time when its rivals, including Prataap Snacks and Balaji Wafers, have been eyeing initial public offerings to raise capital.

Another listed firm in the space, DFM Foods, which operates under the brand Crax, counts private equity firm WestBridge Capital as its key shareholder.

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