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Global companies eye majority stake in VKL seasoning
MUMBAI: Global flavours and fragrance makers have shown interest in acquiring a majority stake in VKL Seasoning, India’s leading manufacturer of seasonings and flavours.
About six companies, including Swiss fragrance majors Givaudan and Firmenich, German firm Symrise, Ireland-based Kerry Group and Japanese major Takasago, have expressed interest in acquiring majority stake in True North PE-owned Vallabhdas Kanji (VKL) Seasoning, according to two people aware of the development.
Bids will be submitted soon and two to three will be shortlisted in a month, said one of the persons cited above. True North, which invested about $40 million in 2013, is seeking a valuation of $140 million (?1,000 crore) for VKL Seasoning.
True North Capital is selling its majority stake in VKL Seasoning and has hired investment bank Avendus to manage the sale, ET had reported on November 19.
VKL makes food ingredients and flavouring solutions in India and the Middle East with a strong focus on the quick service restaurants (QSR) and processed food industries.
Top clients of VKL include Americana Group, Amul, Bikanerwala, Britannia, Café Coffee Day, Chick King, Chili’s, Dabur, Domino’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, GlaxoSmithkline, Godrej, Gowardhan Dairy, McDonald’s, Mrs. Bector’s, Nestlé, Parle, Pepsico, Pizza Hut and Unibic. The product offerings of VKL include topping marinades, sprinklers (pizzas), bread toppings, patty seasonings, sauces & dressings (burgers), breader, batter, glazes (chicken), cake premixes, red and white sauce, and mac and cheese sauce.
Established in Alleppey, Kerala, in 1935 as a whole spice dealer and later expanded into a private label and food ingredients businesses, VKL had sold its bulk spices and private label assets to Olam International in 2011.
VKL is flagship company of Mumbai-based Kanji Moorarji Group.
A True North spokesperson declined to comment while mails sent to Givaudan, Firmenich, Symrise, Kerry Group, Takasago and Ajay Mariwala, managing director, VKL, did not elicit any response till press time on Wednesday.
Around a 70% share of the global fragrances and flavours market is held by the top four players – Givaudan, Firmenich, IFF and Symrise.