The Sri Lanka-based Ceylon Biscuits is set to take over Bakeman's Industries.
The Sri Lankan company, which entered the Indian market recently through its wholly-owned subsidiary Ritzbury India, has emerged as the highest bidder for the assets of Bakeman's Industries. Other contenders for the assets were ITC Foods, Britannia and the Dubai-based Longulf.
An executive of Sicom, the Maharshtra government's premier financial institution, said, "The Delhi court today recognised Ceylone Biscuits as the highest bidder. The sale of the assets will take place under the supervision of the Court." The price quoted by Ceylone was Rs 12.5 crore (Rs 125 million).
Bakeman's, now a defunct firm, was the third largest biscuits maker some years ago. Financial institutions -- Sicom, IFCI and IDBI -- had applied to the Delhi high court for winding up the company after failing to get their outstanding dues of nearly Rs 52 crore (Rs 520 million).
In the interim order passed in April, the court asked Sicom to go ahead with the sale of Bakeman's Industries' assets; Sicom was in possession of the assets.
Sicom got control of Bakeman's assets in line with a Supreme Court order which allowed banks to take over and dispose of the secured assets of defaulters while retaining the then borrowers' right to appeal against the lender.
The apex court had ordered that while the borrower would have the right to move the debt recovery tribunal, the banker, however, could go ahead and sell the assets if the DRT does not issue a stay order.
Ceylon Biscuits manufactures Munchee biscuits and Ritzbury chocolates. It is the largest exporter of biscuits and chocolates in Sri Lanka. It's Indian subsidiary plans to launch chocolate-coated biscuit range in December. Ritzbury will import the chocolate-coated biscuits from Sri Lanka and market them here.
Ritzbury's plant has a capacity of 350 tonne per month. It now produces 50-60 tonne of biscuits. The latest product that the company has rolled out is a 'puff' biscuit.The company is revamping its distribution network and plans to enter into an agreement with a Delhi-based company. The company is able to distribute its products only in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.