Tatas buy majority stake in Innovative Foods

July 3, 2007
To upgrade IFL plant in Kochi

The Tata Group has announced its foray into the processed foods business with the acquisition of a majority stake in Innovative Foods Ltd. (IFL) from the Amalgam Group for an undisclosed sum. According to a company release, the acquisition of IFL has been made through Residency Foods and Beverages Ltd. (RFBL), a subsidiary of Indian Hotels.

The Tatas are already present in various food segments through various group companies like Tata Tea, Tata Coffee and Tata Chemicals (Tata Salt). As part of its plans to diversify into various sub-segments in the foods business, RFBL has recently entered into an exclusive agreement with Jasper Aqua Exports Pvt. Ltd., a seafood company based out of Visakhapatnam. Jasper Aqua will make products exclusively for the RFBL product portfolio. This is significant for the company's plans for exports to the East Asian markets among others. IFL is now present in the frozen and ambient, ready-to-eat (RTE) and ready-to-cook (RTC) categories under the brand Sumeru.

IFL's processing facilities are located in Kochi, Kerala. The Tata Group is investing in IFL to upgrade the plant to world-class standards. IFL now plans to enhance the distribution network, logistics, product range, and brand building by leveraging the expertise of the new management team led by Sheila Nair, CEO, IFL.