Tata Global recently gained absolute control

Doha Investment — the lone FII in Mount Everest — sold off 3.21 lakh shares in a bulk deal at Rs 83.08 a share on the BSE. Mount Everest stock finished up 11.38 per cent at Rs 92.5 on the BSE with 6.6 lakh shares changing hands. Buyers name, however, are not disclosed. After the selling, Doha Invesment’s holding reduced to 0.7 per cent or 2.4 lakh shares.

This follows Tata Global Beverages Ltd (TGBL) recently gaining absolute control over Mount Everest Mineral Water Ltd. The company produces mineral water ‘Himalyan’.

TGBL in May bought out 4.98 per cent residual stake of Vinod Sethi and Foresight Holdings Pvt Ltd, the original promoters of the listed entity. The two board berths have since been vacated by the original promoters.

Put option agreement

According to the Mount Everest management, Foresight ceased to be promoters of the company and two if its nominee directors — Salim Govani and Vinod Sethi — have resigned from the board on May 3.

The recent buyouts — in March and May were at a predetermined price of Rs 198 a share — were in relation to the put option agreement. “The buyout of the residual stake of 9.15 per cent marks the beginning of new phase of Mount Everest ahead of its take off into the global marketplace,” a Tata Group source told Business Line.

TGBL’s earlier incarnation Tata Tea had purchased 24 per cent stake in Mount Everest in June 2007 for Rs 110 crore. It also acquired additional 20 per cent through an open offer for nearly Rs 100 crore. Tatas also expanded capital of Mount Everest through subscription in preferential allotment.

Recently, TGBL and Starbucks have formed a joint venture to market Mount Everest’s branded products to enter the global arena. Mount Everest is also to lever the Tetley network.

The other equal marketing and distribution joint venture between TGBL and Pepsico India Holdings has already “stabilised” the Himalyan brand in the domestic market and reduced cost for Mount Everest, according to the management.

The company has hiked price of its product (mineral water) by 60 per cent and may increase it further.

Mount Everest is also working for TGBL on various new product development “initiatives in different food formats.”


(This article was published on August 3, 2012)
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