Indian Group Buys UK Tea Brand

17 October 2005

Venerable UK tea brand Typhoo has been sold to the Apeejay Surrendra Group of India for £80 million ($139m; €117m).

Former owner Premier Foods has disposed of its entire tea division, including London Fruit & Herb, Lift and QT. Typhoo, first brewed in Scotland more than 100 years ago, is the third largest tea brand in the country.

However, Premier's current strategy is to limit its product ownership to the number one or number two brands in their markets.

Says finance director Paul Thomas. "To have pushed Typhoo to this position would take considerable investment and we were more interested in alternative investment opportunities. We thought there was a better home for Typhoo and that better home is with Apeejay."

The Calcutta-headquartered firm is promising the necessary cash to grow the business. Avers chairman Karan Paul: "We are confident . . . our extensive tea experience, will enable us to build market share and further grow the business."

The company, whose interests include shipping, retail and property, owns 30,000 acres of tea plantations in India and employs 40,000 workers.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff