Future Group inks pact with global beverage brand to boost FMCG biz

Written by fe Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Nov 30 2013, 10:15am hrs
Future Group is increasing its presence in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) space through a brand-licensingagreement with an international beverage brand that the company is set to announce soon, the groups founder Kishore Biyani said on the sidelines of a conference on Friday.

Its a brandlicensingagreement that will mark our big entry into the FMCG space. This is something big for us. All I can say is that we are getting into the beverages space. You will hear moreon this early next month, Biyani said, without divulging any other details.

Currently, Future Consumers brands include Fresh & Pure, Tasty Treat, Ektaa, Premium Harvest, Clean Mate, Sach and Think Skin. Thecompanys brands are present in over 60 product categories with more than 400 SKUs.

Future Consumer Enterprises, which was formerly known as Future Ventures, is the food and FMCG arm of Future Group. Biyani expects the company to be a R1,000-crore company by this fiscal.

The company has zero debt on its books and has cash in hand of around R280 crore that will be invested for expansion of its FMCG business, according to a company statement.

Biyani is also expected to cut the companys 40% stake in Capital Foods, which manufactures noodles, ketchup and chutneys under the Smith & Jones brand and instant Chinese soups, spices and curry mixes under the Chings Secret brand.

Biyani acknowledged that there is announcement regarding Capital Foods in the offing, but did not specify the details.

Meanwhile, Future Group has also exited some other fashion brands like ethnic-wear firm Biba, designer Anita Dongre-owned AND and French apparelcompany Celio.

The company sold its 28.3% stake in Biba and 22.9% stake in AND for R450 crore, as per a company statement. Future Group had a 50% stake in French apparel company

Celio, which was bought back by Celio this month.

Future Group has been restructuringitself for the past two years to cut debt and align its businesses. The company sold its majority stake in Pantaloons format to Aditya Birla Nuvo, apart from divesting its non-core businesses like insurance. Last year, it also de-merged its fashion businesses into a separate company, thereby, creating verticals for facilitating FDI in multi-brand retail.