French Danone to exit Britannia by selling stake

April 6th, 2009 - 11:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, April 6 (IANS) Danone SA of France will exit Britannia Industries of Wadias group by selling its entire stake to the Mauritius-based investment firm Leila Lands Ltd., which holds 25 percent stake in India’s leading biscuit maker firm.
In a regulatory filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Monday, Leila Lands said it would buy 25.48 percent of the stake (6.09 million shares) in Britannia, held by Danone’s UK-based Associated Biscuits International (ABI) Ltd., April 14.

“Post-acquisition, our stake in Britannia will double to 50.96 percent from 25.48 percent,” Leila Lands said in the filing.

Leila Lands is a subsidiary of Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation (BBTC), a group company of the Mumbai-based Wadias.

The Rs.41.76-billion Wadia group and Danone hold equal stakes in ABI Holdings Ltd.

Both companies declined to reveal the transaction price, including premium.

“The inter-se transfer price, however, will not exceed by 25 percent of the price determined in terms of applicable regulations,” the investment said to BSE.

The deal will settle a two-year dispute over the control of the company and snap a 15-year association between the two dairy and beverage partners. It will also end their long-drawn battle over the intellectual property rights (IPR) of Britannia’s flagship biscuit brand ‘Tiger’.

Britannia posted a sales turnover of Rs.25.84 billion (Rs.2,584 crore) in fiscal 2008.

In a bullish trading Monday, Britannia scrip ended at Rs.1,468.05 on the BSE.

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