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Chennai, March 10

Chennai-based Siva group said on Wednesday it had acquired 50 per cent stake in Isklar, a Norwegian mineral water company, for $22 million (Rs 100 crore).

The company is promoted by the Sabco group based in Muscat, Oman and Java Holdings of Norway.

Isklar will issue additional shares to the Siva group and the holding of the existing promoters will come down to 50 per cent.

Isklar takes water from the glaciers and bottles it. It currently has the capacity to bottle 20 million litres. In calendar 2010, the capacity will be doubled, Mr V. Srinivasan, group CEO, told Business Line .

Mr Srinivasan expects Isklar's turnover to be $20 million and twice as much in the following year. He said the company would be “EBIDTA positive” in two years. He said that the $3-billion Siva group was keen on the consumer products space, and hence Isklar.

“Isklar”, which means “ice clear” in Norwegian, is a brand of pure glacial natural mineral water brand that starts life as ‘pure ice' in the glaciers of Hardanger. During its natural filtration through ice and hard aquifer rock, Isklar absorbs extraordinarily few minerals, which contributes to the smooth taste of this product, and its low sodium content, says the company.

The main market is the UK. As a quay is located right alongside the bottling plant, shipping out of Norway is easy.

This is Siva group's second acquisition in Scandinavia. Two years ago, it took over WinWind, a Finnish windmill manufacturer. WinWind has since established a manufacturing plant near Chennai.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 11, 2010)
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