Eveready may bring strategic partner for packet tea unit
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Eveready Industries India Ltd, the largest maker of dry cell batteries in India, said on Monday it may consider demerger of the packaged tea business into a wholly owned subsidiary or may look for a strategic partner.

“We shall examine all other options for the business…continuing with the business as a subsidiary or a special purpose vehicle, or induction of a strategic partner for further growth of the business,” the company said in a stock market disclosure.

The company clarified that the tea business was not doing enough in terms of sales, despite Eveready being a group company of the largest bulk tea producer in the world, McLeod Russel India Ltd. It offers 60 blends of tea.

According to Eveready’s annual report, the packaged tea unit, comprising popular brands such as Tez, Jaago and Premium Gold, had contributed just 5% of its annual sales during 2015-16, with sales turnover of Rs 72.16 crore.

The move, the company said, will help its lighting, appliances and battery businesses, which are directly marketed under the Eveready brand.

The company’s flagship items under the Eveready brand, such as Powercell and Uniross, are available in over 3.2 million retail outlets in India. It runs six manufacturing facilities and has considerable exposure in the global market.

Eveready also offers batteries, flashlights and mosquito coils under the Lava brand in the Middle East and Africa, and exports to Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Egypt and Sri Lanka.

The company posted net sales of Rs 1,323 crore in 2015-16, compared with Rs 1,278 crore in the previous fiscal year.

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