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.