Bharti Del Monte Ltd – a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises Ltd and Del Monte Pacific Ltd – plans to invest 1 billion rupees (USD 21.1 million) to set up a manufacturing unit in India for processed food products.
“The joint venture will establish the manufacturing facility in the southern Indian town of Hosur,” Rakesh Bharti Mittal, vice chairman and managing director of Bharti Enterprises told to media recently.
The facility, near Bengaluru, will be operational by 2010. “We will start manufacturing two products, especially juice drinks in cans and pet bottles in the first phase,” said Mittal.
“Del Monte would also bring in funds for the manufacturing facility,” he said, but refused to provide further details.
Bharti Enterprises – the parent company of telecommunications services provider Bharti Airtel Ltd – and Singapore-listed fruit- and vegetable-based products maker Del Monte Pacific had set up the equally owned joint venture in 2004 to supply fresh fruits and vegetables.
It counts Indian retail chains such as Easy Day, Big Bazaar, 24/7, More and Big Apple among it clients.
Bharti Del Monte also supplies processed food and beverage products, currently importing them from the Philippines and some other countries.
“We want to be in top 10 Indian processed food companies in the next five years,” he said when asked about the joint venture’s growth plans.
Bharti Del Monte expects processed foods to contribute two-thirds of its total revenue with the remaining coming from selling fresh fruits.
Bharti Enterprises said it will also launch Del Monte’s products in 15 Indian cities by the end of this year.
Mittal, however, did not say how much revenue the unlisted venture had posted in the last financial year ended March 31, 2009.
Source: The Wall Street Journal