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VCCircle_Kishore_Chhabria_Anupam_Datta Photo Credit: Kishore Chhabria & Anupam Datta

Kishore Chhabria brings Anupam Datta from Kellogg’s to head Allied Blenders; eyes IPO

By PTI
03 August, 2015

The Kishore Chhabria-run Allied Blenders & Distillers (ABD), which is planning to go public with around Rs 1,000-crore issue over the next 18 months, has rejigged the top management with a new managing director and chief executive.

The largest home-grown liquor company — the UB Group is now owned by the British giant Diageo — has roped in Anupam Datta, a veteran marketer and the man behind the successful launch of the Reliance Industries-promoted football league, the Indian Super League, as the new managing director and chief executive officer.

“Datta has taken charge since the mid-July. With his arrival, my role will be limited to strategy and planning apart from preparing ABD for the Rs 1,000 crore share sale.

“Also, from now on, I will be only the executive vice-chairman and will not be involved in the day-to-day running of the company,” Deepak Roy, the incumbent executive vice-chairman and chief executive told PTI.

Before joining ABD, Datta was heading Kellogg’s South Africa and prior to which he was heading the American cereal major’s operations in the country.

It can be noted that both Roy and Datta worked together in the past with Diageo before Roy moved to UB for a while.

When sought his plans for the company, Datta refused to comment saying he is still studying the company.

On the IPO plan, Roy, who holds 5 per cent stake in the company that owns the world’s largest spirits brand Officer’s Choice even overtaking Smirnoff vodka from the Pernord Ricard stable, said, “we are working on it.

“We should hit the market over the next 12 to 18 months and we plan to raise about Rs 550-750 crore.

“But if we continue our breakneck growth as we have been doing in the past many years, and go ahead with our aggressive expansion plans including some takeovers, then the amount can be up to Rs 1,000 crore,” Roy said.

Roy said that though specifics are being worked out, he is valuing ABD at an enterprise value of Rs 6,000 crore by the end of this fiscal year.

The company had reported a revenue of Rs 2,500 crore net of Excise in 2014-15, which was a growth of 31 per cent over the previous fiscal year, according to Roy.

ABD does not have any long term debt on its book, but some Rs 550 crore working capital loans, Roy said, adding the company has been funding all these expansions and acquisitions from internal accruals. But going forward, it may have to look for debt-driven capex, therefore the IPO.

He also said the company has asked JM Financials to work on the IPO as the lead-manager.

For 2015 fiscal year, ABD reported a whopping 29 per cent jump in sales at 32 million cases, up from 25 million cases in 2013-14, led by its marquee brand Officer’s Choice, while the domestic liquor industry barely managed to post a paltry 3 per cent sales growth. ABD has been clipping at a CAGR of 21 per cent over the last five years. One case contains 9 litres of spirit.

Against this, Roy said, the new fiscal year saw the industry declining by 2 per cent, while only ABD and Pernord Ricard has been growing at high double digits.

“The journey from 5.2 million cases about eight years ago to 32 million cases 2014 is a testament to the strength of our brands and this achievement will serve as the best springboard for us to now reach greater heights in the coming years,” Roy said.

The flagship brand Officer’s Choice Whisky clipped at 16 per cent growth in 2014-15, taking its market share to 37 per cent of the regular whisky segment, while the semi-premium whisky Officer’s Choice Blue, crossed 7 million cases, within three year of launch, growing at 100 per cent.

ABD also sells rums, vodkas and brandys and its portfolio of brands includes Jolly Roger Rum, Lord & Master Brandy, Class 21 Vodka and Wodka Gorbatschow.

Early last month, the company bought Shasta Bio Fuels, a grain distillery unit in Telangana for Rs 200 crore. ABD will make an additional investment of Rs 50 crore to upgrade the distillery by improving operations, value added byproducts and effluent treatment over the next 18 months.

ABD has five company-owned and three-contracted bottling plants and a distillery in Andhra Pradesh with 15 sales offices across 22 states.


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Kishore Chhabria brings Anupam Datta from Kellogg’s to head Allied Blenders; eyes IPO

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