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Tetley Takeover Costs Tata Tea 400 Million Pound

Savio G Pinto  |  MUMBAI 

The total cost of Tata Tea's acquisition of the UK-based Tetley is now known to be £400 million, inclusive of the debt component of £129 million that Tata Tea has taken over. In March Tata Tea had announced the acquisition of Tetley for a consideration of £271 million. This translated into an acquisition cost of approximately Rs 2,750 crore. But according to the Tata Tea's 37th annual report for the year 1999-2000, released recently, which includes the statement of accounts of Tetley Group Ltd, it is revealed that Tata Tea has taken over liabilities of an additional £129 million. This includes pound 96.94 million towards borrowings, finance lease obligations and subordinated loan stock. Reorganisation costs and other provisions add up to another £32.065 million, according to the balance sheet. Tata Tea company officials, when reached for comment, explained that the loans have been advanced to Tata Tea (Great Britain) without any recourse to Tata Tea Ltd. On the issue of impact on the domestic balance sheet, the official added "there is no plan to consolidate the two companies accounts this year but maybe this would be taken up in the future." The Tetley brand continues to remain with Tata Tea (GB), which is the special purpose vehicle floated to fund the acquisition. Hence, there is no direct benefit to Tata Tea Ltd.'s bottomline from the acquisition. The investment in Tetley has been routed through a special purpose vehicle in the United Kingdom called Tata Tea (GB) Ltd. The purchase price of Tetley Group was £271 million which was financed by raising £70 million as equity capital and the balance through loans from banks abroad. Rabo Bank acted as advisors to the acquisition and subsequent financial closure. In order to finance this acquisition Tata Tea Ltd subscribed to the extent of £60 million in the equity of its new subsidiary Tata Tea (GB) Ltd, UK while the balance £10 million was subscribed by Tata Tea Inc, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Tea Ltd in the US. Out of the Pound 60 million invested, about Pounds 45 million was raised by an issue of Global Depository shares while the balance was financed from internal accruals.

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First Published: Wed, August 23 2000. 00:00 IST