British Indian food major up for sale for 200 mn pounds | india | Hindustan Times
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British Indian food major up for sale for 200 mn pounds

The company was recently embroiled in a bitter family dispute over ownership.

india Updated: Mar 12, 2007 18:07 IST

Indian food major Pathak's, whose spicy pickles and other products tickle the palates of millions of people in Britain every day, has been put up for sale for a price tag of 200 million pounds.

The company was recently embroiled in a bitter family dispute over ownership between Kirit Pathak and his two sisters. The dispute was settled with Kirit Pathak emerging as the 100 percent owner. He runs the company with wife Meena.

Pathak has appointed bank Rothschild to "review strategic options for the future development of the business".

He is reported to be looking for either an equity partner or buyer, so that the business has the distribution network and the marketing muscle to compete with the likes of Sharwoods, Premier Foods' Indian food brand.

Pathak, 54, told The Independent: "The growth of Patak's over the past decade has been a remarkable success story. Our goal is to be the world's leading supplier of authentic Indian food and we have exciting plans for the future development of the business.

"We have, therefore, felt it appropriate to retain Rothschild to assist us in reviewing how best to achieve these ambitions."

Patak's products include Indian cooking sauces, curry pastes, chutney, pickles, ready meals, snacks and breads. It uses distributors to sell in more than 40 countries worldwide, from Australia to Canada.

As well as selling through major retailers, it also manufactures own-brand products for supermarkets including Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and Morrisons. Patak's employs some 650 staff, just over half at its factory near Wigan.

The company was started in 1957 by Kirit Pathak's father Laxmishanker shortly after arriving in England from Kenya with just five pounds in his pocket - he dropped the "h" from the company name to make it easier to pronounce.

Spotting the need for Indian food in London, he started producing samosas in a tiny kitchen in north London. Kirit began making deliveries aged just six and joined the business full-time when he was 17.

The Independent reported that last year Patak's had a turnover of 66 million pounds and it is forecast to achieve 71 million pounds in 2007.