Kishore Chhabria-promoted spirits maker Allied Blenders and Distillers Pvt Ltd (ABD) is looking to raise Rs 200- 250 crore in the coming financial year for brand-building and expanding operations.
“We have been approached by some PE (private equity) players, but we are yet to be in a situation where we can put a finger on the final one. We need to finalise some details and the need of the firm and accordingly we will decide. It will be to the tune of Rs 200-250 crore,” Deepak Roy, executive vice-chairman and chief executive officer of ABD, told Business Standard.
The company recently unveiled two products —Officer's Choice Blue (a semi-premium whiskey) and Kyron (premium brandy) — which are yet to be rolled out nationwide. The new funds will be used for brand-building of these products and in modification of the existing ones, Roy said. A part of it is expected to scale-up distribution network. He indicated the promoters might also bring in some additional funds.
ABD will also look to reposition its vodka strategy as it has not done well for the past two years. “Vodka is a segment where we have gone wrong, based on our performance in the last two years. So we have to make some necessary changes and reposition it,” Roy added.
On Thursday, the company said here it was set to sell 1 million cases of Officers' Choice Blue (OCB) in the eastern region in the current financial year.
According to Roy, the semi-premium whiskey segment will be one of the key growth drivers in the coming years. “The lower segment has slowed down due to steep price increases and the gap between the lower and semi premium segment is narrowing down, so people want to upgrade to the next level.” ABD plans to sell 1.5 million units of OCB in the current financial year and another million cases in 2013-14. The semi-premium whiskey market is around 15 per cent of the total whiskey market and is expected to grow 12-14 per cent. The company's other brands include Gorbatschow vodka, Jolly Roger rum and Kyron brandy.
The industry, according to Roy, has seen quite a dry time in the current financial year with a muted growth of five per cent. The next financial year is expected to be better and witness a growth of close to 10 per cent.