Sula Vineyards to enter liquor segment

K Giriprakash Bengaluru | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on October 07, 2016


Open to setting up distilleries and launch more brands

Sula Vineyards, the country’s largest wine maker, is set to step into the big league with foray into the liquor segment.

Rajeev Samant, CEO of Sula Vineyards, told that the company is open to setting up distilleries across the country and launch more brands in the liquor space. It recently launched the country’s first grape-based premium brandy. “We will surely get into other spirits’ brands. We might make another announcement shortly,” Samant said.

He said the company can raise capital at short notice through QIP. Sula, which turned profitable from the second year of its operations itself, is currently valued at over ₹1,000 crore and plans to float an IPO once it crosses the ₹500-crore mark in revenues. As of now, its total revenues are at around ₹400 crore.

One of the main investors of Sula is the Belgium-based Verlinvest SA, a family office and one of the early investors in beer major, Anheuser-Busch InBev, makers of Budweiser beer. It is also the second largest investor in Sula Vineyards’ parent, Nashik Vintners with a stake of 25 per cent after having bought additional stake from a New York-based NRI in the Indian company early this week.

The Samant family and friends hold 40 per cent stake in the venture. Samant said the company is ready for expansion as it has a strong network of distributors. “When we started off, it was difficult to find a national distributor, and hence, we started doing it ourselves. Today, we are confident of launching a variety of brands because of the strong network and marketing and production capability.”

Grape-based premium brandy launched by Sula is priced at ₹1,600 for a 700-ml bottle and this is the company’s foray into the spirits segment. It also holds the distribution licence for Asahi beer and William Grant whisky.

Samant said the wine market is growing at a compounded annual rate of between 15 per cent and 20 per cent and the total market size is around 2 million cases including imports and is valued at around ₹1,000 crore.

Published on October 07, 2016
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