Multinational food companies are interested in picking up a controlling stake in Gujarat-headquartered Havmor Ice Cream Ltd, which is on an expansion spree in the northern markets as well as the seventh largest ice cream and frozen dessert brand in India with a 3.5 per cent market share, claim sources.
According to sources, talks are in the preliminary stage and it is unclear if the deal will come through. At present, two companies- Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) and Nestle- are in the fray for picking up a controlling stake in Havmor. At present, the Rs 450-crore company is valued at Rs 1,000 crore.
A Nestle spokesperson said, “We do not comment on speculations." Similarly, an HUL spokesperson said, “As a policy we do not comment on market speculation”.
The company, which is now being led by Ankit Chona, the third generation of the founding family, plans to spend around Rs 225-250 crore to expand its manufacturing capacity. A new facility is planned at Faridabad which would cater to northern markets. Existing plants would also be expanded from a capacity of 2,50,000 litres per day(lpd) to 350,000 lpd. Chona could not be reached for a comment.
While Chona could not be reached for comments, the company has said that its vision is to make Havmor "India’s most preferred ice-cream brand."
The company was founded in Karachi- then a part of India- as a part-time venture by Satish Chona in 1944.
Immediately after partition in 1947, Havmor moved to India and set up its base in Ahmedabad. Way back in 1951, it started as a handcart venture and the company's first shop was set up in 1953.
In 1974, Pradeep Chona joined his father in the business. He introduced the latest technology, improved hygiene standards and inculcated a corporate business environment at Havmor. In 2005, his son Ankit Chona joined the family business and under his leadership, the company has witnessed expansion of business in various states.
Ankit, who holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from Purdue University in the United States of America (US), began his career with Panera Bread- an American chain of bakery-café fast casual restaurants in the US and Canada.
With a group turnover of Rs 450 crore, Havmor is expanding fast and entering markets beyond Gujarat. At present, Havmor is available in more than 40,000 outlets across the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Goa and Telangana.,Delhi, Harayana, Uttar Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Havmor has over 160 ice cream varieties under its portfolio apart from running a restaurant business in Gujarat. At present, the company owns and runs over 20 restaurants, 60 eateries and more than 200 ice cream parlors.
Key Milestones of Havmor
- 1944 – Havmor Brand established the first outlet in Karachi
- 1953 – First parlor at Relief Road in Ahmedabad
- 1983 – The first drive through restaurants in Panchvati
- 1991 – First State-of-the-art production unit at Naroda
- 2006 – Introduction of first HavFunn Eatery
- 2007 – Expansion in Maharashtra
- 2008 – Expansion in Rajasthan
- 2011 – Increased the capacity of the facility at Naroda to 2.5 lakh litres a day
- 2013 – Expansion in Goa and Punjab
- 2015 – Expansion in Telangana
- 2016 – Expansion in Delhi