Tea firm returns to Indian roots

By agencies   |   Friday, 14 October 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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KOLKATA:The Apeejay Surrendra Group said it planned to increase investment in Typhoo
after agreeing to buy the business from Branston Pickle maker Premier Foods.

Calcutta-based Apeejay has a plantation area of 30,000 acres supplying many of the world's major tea brands, including Typhoo.

Apeejay will be buying Premier's entire tea business, including the 100-year Typhoo label, plus London Fruit & Herb, Lift and QT.

It will also take on Typhoo's tea blending and packing facility which employs 250 people at Moreton, Wirral.

Premier described Typhoo as a great brand but said it would benefit from the focus and investment offered by a dedicated tea business.

Apeejay, founded in 1910, is India's third largest exporter of tea.

It already sells three of its single estate teas - Sessa, Pengaree and Khobong - in Harrods and premium tea boutiques around the world.

Today's acquisition mirrors a deal struck in 2000 when India's Tata paid £271 million for the Tetley brand.

Typhoo was launched in 1903 by Birmingham grocer John Summer and currently ranks behind PG Tips and Tetley in the UK tea market.

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