Future Consumer Enterprise Limited (FCEL) hascompleted the acquisition of the iconic Nilgiris convenience store chain in the southern Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Commercial details on the transaction have not been disclosed by Future Group.
This acquisition will allow Future Group to expand across south India, where it does not have a convenience store network through either KB’s Fair Price or Adhar. Nilgiris branded bakery and dairy products will also be channelized across Future Group’s existing channels including Big Bazaar, Foodhall and Aadhaar and also extended to other modern retailers. Similarly, the FCEL’s existing portfolio of brands including Sunkist, Tasty Treat, Golden Harvest, Premium Harvest, Sach Ektaa, CleanMate and CareMate, will be chanellised through Niligiris store network. Additionally, Nilgiris’ expertise in running a successful franchisee network will be leveraged to expand the existing footprint of convenience stores via a franchisee model.
Nilgiris, an iconic brand with origins dating back to 1905 and a household name in South India, operates a franchisee operated convenience store chain with 140 stores in key urban centers in the four states. Apart from offering a wide assortment of products through its convenience store chain, Nilgiris, also owns a portfolio of brands in dairy, bakery, chocolates and staples along with their manufacturing facilities in Bangalore.
A select product range of the brand is also retailed through general trade along with in-store bakeries in few stores. The company manages the back end operations including procurement, logistics and IT for the stores. It operates eight distribution centers along with a fleet of vehicles, including refrigerated vehicles that cater to the supply of its own dairy, bakery and chocolate brands to its network of stores.
In October 2008, Actis, a UK-based private equity investor, invested US$65 million in the Nilgiris Group in order to strengthen the group’s manufacturing and franchising operations in South India. This investment gave Actis a controlling interest (more than 51% stake) in the Nilgiris group.
Speaking on the acquisition, Mr. Kishore Biyani, Group CEO, Future Group, said, “FCEL’s acquisition of Nilgiris, a leading food and grocery convenience store chain in South India having a unique portfolio of food brands supported by its own manufacturing facilities for dairy and bakery, is another step towards building a robust convenience store network in India.”
“This acquisition is synergistic as it enables strengthening and expanding convenience stores through franchises in an asset light model as well as brings in new manufacturing capabilities and brands within the company,” he added.