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Wednesday, Mar 20, 2002

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Brindavan Beverages invests Rs 6.5 cr in new PET line

Ratna Bhushan

BAREILLY, March 19

BRINDAVAN Beverages Ltd, the fastest growing bottler of soft drinks major Coca-Cola India (CCI), has invested Rs 6.5 crore in a new PET bottling line at its existing plant in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh.

A total of Rs 65 crore has been invested in the bottling plant at Bareilly since 1998, Mr S.N. Ladhani, Managing Director, Brindavan Beverages said.

"With the PET line in operation now, we intend to service the entire UP market,'' Mr Ladhani said.

In addition to carbonated beverage brands Coke, Thums Up, Limca and Fanta, the PET line would be used for CCI's bottled water brand, Kinley, in the current season.

Brindavan Beverages is owned by the Rs 400-crore Ladhani group, which has four bottling plants for CCI in UP.

Apart from Bareilly, the Ladhani group's bottling plants for CCI exist in Agra under the name Brindavan Agro Industries Ltd, in Faizabad as Amrit Bottlers Pvt Ltd and in Lucknow as Brindavan Bottlers Ltd.

The size of the carbonated soft drinks (CSD) glass bottles market in UP is estimated at 30 million cases. According to Mr Ladhani, brand Coca-Cola, together with Thums Up, has overtaken brand Pepsi in the UP market.

"Coca-Cola and Thums Up together have a 65 per cent share of the 30-million-cases CSD glass bottles market in UP,'' Mr Ladhani said.

The Ladhani group is mulling a second plant for PET bottles in Faizabad or Lucknow within two years, Mr Ladhani added.

Apart from the Ladhanis, CCI's other major bottlers in the country include the Gandharis in Punjab, the Goenkas in West Bengal, and the Aggarwals in Delhi and Nagpur.

In all, CCI has 33 company-owned bottling plants and 16 franchisee-owned bottling operations.

On whether existing production lines would be added for 200 ml glass bottles, Mr Alex Von Behr, President & Chief Executive Officer, CCI, said the company had adequate bottling capacity.

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