KOLKATA: Jay Shree Tea & Industries, a BK Birla Group company, is looking at expanding its footprint in the sugar sector through brownfield route.

The company had made a foray into the sugar business in 2010 through the acquisition of Bihar-based MP Chini Mills at a consideration of Rs 113 crore. Market sources say that the company is looking for sugar mills in Bihar and is ready to shell out anything between Rs 110 crore and Rs 140 crore to snap up the deal.

When contacted DP Maheshwari, managing director of the company, said: "We definitely have plans to expand our sugar business. Since we have operations in Bihar, we would like to

concentrate in that region only. But nothing has been firmed up yet. Finance is not a problem but the property should be a good one."

"We have learnt a lot on sugar from our maiden acquisition. This experience will enable us to make better decisions for our next acquisition," Maheshwari added. Jay Shree Tea is in the process of increasing the capacity of its existing sugar mill.

"From next month, the mill will be able to crush 5,500 tonne sugarcane per day. When we had taken over, the crushing capacity was to the tune of 4,200 tpd," he said. In the tea front, Jay Shree Tea is pursuing its efforts to increase its presence in Africa.

"We are very much in the race to acquire gardens in Rwanda. The Rwandan government is delaying the process of inviting bids. I am going to Rwanda by end of this month to have a fresh round of discussion with the authorities," he said.

The Rwanda Tea Authority is likely to invite bids for three of its estates - Mulindi, Gisovu and Shagasha - shortly. The total production of these tea estates is 60 lakh kg annually.

source: economictimes

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