Mcleod Russel to acquire Vietnamese tea processing unit

Kolkata-based tea plantation company Mcleod Russel India Ltd is acquiring a tea processing unit in Vietnam for a little over Rs 5 crore ($820,000), as per a stock market disclosure.

"Phu Ben Tea Company, a step-down wholly owned subsidiary of Mcleod Russel India, has signed an agreement to purchase the tea processing factory which has an annual production capacity of 6 lakh kg of green tea, for $820,000 plus VAT at the applicable rate,” the company said.

This would be the second acquisition by the firm in Vietnam in a year and the third in the country. Last year in May, the firm had acquired a Vietnamese tea processing unit for a little over $2.75 million (Rs 15 crore) which has an annual production capacity of 1.2 million kg.

Previously, in late 2008 it had acquired Phu Ben Tea Company in Vietnam in a Rs 10-crore deal. The firm was active in expanding through the inorganic route between 2006 and 2009.

It has also acquired stakes in overseas companies such as James Finlay (Uganda) Ltd and Olyana Holdings LLC besides Indian firms such as Williamson Tea Assam Ltd, Doom Dooma Tea Co Ltd and Moran Tea Company India Ltd.

Founded in 1869, Brij Mohan Khaitan group-led Mcleod Russel is one of the largest tea producers in the world. It has plants in Assam and West Bengal besides those in Vietnam, Uganda and Rwanda.

Its blending facility at Nilpur (West Bengal) has a capacity to blend 40 tonnes of tea per day. The firm employs over 90,000 people and has offices in the UK and Dubai besides India.

The firm ended FY13 with revenues of Rs 1,668 crore on net profit of Rs 274 crore. 

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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