Delhi-based RJ Corp, PepsiCo's leading bottler in India, today said it will acquire the global beverage major's bottling operations in Bhutan as a part of its USD 100-million (around Rs 450-crore) expansion plan.
"We are looking to acquire (Pepsico's) bottling operations in Bhutan by next year. The company would need USD 100 million investment to fund acquisitions and expansion in India and overseas," R J Corp Chairman Ravi Jaipuria told PTI.
The company is currently holding talks with several private equity (PE) investors to fund the plan. "In a couple of months, the name of the PE investor will be finalised," he added. Blackstone is one of the PE firms which is understood to be investing in the company. However, Jaipuria, declined to comment on the same.
Earlier this year, RJ Corp had bought franchisee bottling rights of PepsiCo from Ole Springs Bottlers in Sri Lanka. It is the cola maker's top franchisee bottler in India and also owns the franchisee rights in Nepal and Africa.
"We are expanding in Africa and setting up greenfield bottling plants in Mozambique this year, followed by Zimbabwe next year," Jaipuria said. RJ Corp already has dairy businesses in Uganda and Kenya for products such as milk, yogurt, cheese and butter.
The past 2-3 years have seen a host of Indian consumer products companies, such as Dabur, Marico and Godrej Consumer Products and Wipro making a beeline for Africa. RJ Corp's group company Devyani International also holds franchisee rights for KFC and Pizza Hut and Costa Coffee restaurants in India.