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Nestle SA eyes $1 billion deal for 'Ching's Secret' owner in India

Capital Foods makes the Ching's Secret brand of spicy noodles and fusion chutneys infused with so-called "desi Chinese" flavors. It also sells Smith & Jones cooking pastes and masala mixes

Nestle

Nestle

Bloomberg

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By Anto Antony and Vinicy Chan

Nestle SA, the world’s biggest food group, is among final bidders competing to acquire India’s Capital Foods Pvt as it seeks to boost its presence in the fast-growing economy, people familiar with the matter said. 
 
The Swiss company has been discussing terms of a potential deal for Mumbai-based Capital Foods, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Any transaction would likely value the Indian firm at more than $1 billion, according to the people. 

Capital Foods makes the Ching’s Secret brand of spicy noodles and fusion chutneys infused with so-called “desi Chinese” flavors. It also sells Smith & Jones cooking pastes and masala mixes. 

While talks on a potential deal are advanced, several other suitors have also expressed interest in buying Capital Foods and there’s no certainty Nestle will emerge as the winner, the people said. 

Shares of Nestle’s listed Indian unit have gained 10% in Mumbai trading over the past 12 months, giving it a market value of about $22.3 billion. The firm started its first manufacturing facility in India in 1961 and sells everything from yogurt to cereals in the country.

Investors in Capital Foods include General Atlantic, which bought a stake in the company in 2018.

A spokesperson for Nestle India declined to comment, while a Capital Foods representative didn’t respond to requests for comment. 

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First Published: Mar 30 2023 | 8:22 PM IST

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