Future Consumer Enterprise Ltd, the food and FMCG arm of Kishore Biyani-led Future Group, on Friday acquired south India-based convenience store chain Nilgiris for nearly Rs 300 crore (Rs 3 billion).
"We have picked almost 100 per cent stake in convenience chain Nilgiris for close to Rs 300 crore. This acquisition is another step towards building a robust convenience store network in India," Future Group CEO Kishore Biyani told PTI.
He further said: "This acquisition is synergistic as it enables strengthening and expanding convenience stores through franchises in an asset light model as well as brings in new manufacturing capabilities and brands within the company."
Future Group, which had been interested in taking over the company for more than a year, said this acquisition by FCEL will lead to geographical expansion of the convenience store network in southern India, as presently its existing footprint is primarily concentrated in north and west India.
Nilgiris operates a franchisee-operated convenience store chain with 140 outlets in key urban centres in the four southern states and it also owns a portfolio of brands in dairy, bakery, chocolates and staples along with their manufacturing facilities in Bangalore.
It also retails a select product range of the brand through general trade along with in-store bakeries in few stores.
The company manages the back-end operations including procurement, logistics and IT for the stores and operates 8 distribution centres along with a fleet of vehicles, including refrigerated ones that cater to the supply of its own dairy, bakery and chocolate brands to its outlets.
Nilgiris' branded bakery and dairy products will also be channelised across Future Group's existing channels including Big Bazaar, Foodhall and Aadhaar and also extended to other modern retailers, the company said in a statement.
Similarly, the FCEL's existing portfolio of brands including Sunkist, Tasty Treat, Golden Harvest, Premium Harvest, Sach Ektaa, CleanMate and CareMate will be channelised through Nilgiris store network, it added.
Additionally, Nilgiris' expertise in running a successful franchisee network will be leveraged to expand the existing footprint of convenience stores via a franchisee model.