MTR Foods, manufacturers of spices and ready-to-be-consumed eatables, a nationwide brand and a Bangalore landmark, has been acquired by the Norwegian food major Orkla for $100 million (Rs 450 cr).
The deal was sealed last week, maintain sources close to the company, though the formal announcement is likely to be made on February 13. Many other companies from the Tatas, Britannia, ITC and Godrej to private equity firms like ICICI Venture, Indivision and Actis had been vying for MTR Foods for nearly a year.
Earlier in 2000, Singapore-based private equity investor Aquarius had picked up 20 per cent stake in MTR Foods for an undisclosed amount. J P Morgan Partners had also invested around $4 million for a 28 per cent stake in 2002, suggesting an equity value of $14.3 million at that time. The balance equity was held by MTR Foods founder Sadanand Maiya and family.
Both J P Morgan Partners and Aquarius India Fund have also sold their stake to Orkla.
The return has been fair given that MTR started earning an operating profit only around 18 months ago, according to an industry analyst.
MTR is likely to close sales of Rs 165 crore ($37.6 million) for the financial year 2006-07.