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Report: Bisleri packaged water brand is in discussions to be sold to Tata Group.

Ramesh Chauhan, the chairman of India’s Bisleri International, revealed in an interview with the television network CNBC-TV18 that negotiations are currently taking place for the company to be purchased by the salt to software behemoth Tata Group.


Nevertheless, Chauhan refuted in his interview that a contract had been agreed to.


Earlier, Chauhan was quoted by the Economic Times as saying that Tata Consumer Products planned to purchase the business for up to $70 billion.


Chauhan founded Bisleri in 1969 and is credited with developing well-known domestic soft drink brands such as ThumsUp, Gold Spot, Citra, Maaza, and Limca. In 1993, he sold Coca-Cola his portfolio of soft drinks.


According to media reports, Tata Consumer, which offers the well-known Tata Salt, Himalayan mineral water, and operates a joint venture with Starbucks in India, made a bid for Bisleri in September.


Tata Consumer shares increased as much as 3.2% in early trading to reach 794.75, their highest level since October 6.


Tata Consumer Products and Bisleri, which compete with Aquafina from PepsiCo Inc. and Kinley from Coca-Cola Co., respectively, did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment. It was impossible to contact Chauhan for comment.


Higher salt prices and pent-up demand for everything from mineral water to Starbucks coffee led Tata Consumer Products record a larger-than-expected increase in quarterly profit on October 20.


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