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Tuesday, Sep 28, 2004

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Eveready Industries plans tourism foray

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"Nothing has been finalised, but we have surplus property in those regions which have a good potential for becoming tourism spots."

Kolkata , Sept. 27

IN an effort to utilise its surplus property in tea growing areas of Assam and Dooars, Eveready Industries India Ltd is considering making a foray into the tourism sector.

According to Mr Deepak Khaitan, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of Eveready Industries, the company might join hands with another organisation for this venture.

He was talking to reporters after attending the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) of the company's shareholders. The meeting was convened to decide on the proposed demerger of Eveready Industries' business between FMCG operations and bulk tea business.

According to the proposal, the bulk tea business of Eveready Industries India would be transferred to the newly floated Eveready Company India Ltd. This company would be later renamed McLeod Russel India Ltd.

After the scheduled voting at the EGM, it was learnt that 91 per cent of the shareholders had voted in favour of the demerger.

While talking to reporters on the sidelines of the EGM, Mr Khaitan said once the process of demerger was over, the company would start chalking out its plans for the topline growth of Eveready Industries.

"Tourism is one sector which we might consider. However, nothing has been finalised but we have surplus property in those regions which have a good potential for becoming tourism spots," Mr Khaitan said.

Regarding the tea business, he said, the prospects were good and Indian tea was likely to get good market shares in Egypt, Iran, Russia and Pakistan. Meanwhile, he said the company would be investing Rs 10 crore in the upgradation of tea bushes.

Eveready Industries India is also investing Rs 20 crore to increase its battery manufacturing capacity by another 200 million pieces. Currently, its total capacity is 1.2 billion pieces per annum.

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