Kolkata-based Dhunseri Group and Mumbai-based MK Shah Exports Ltd have had initial discussions with Tata Global Beverages about the sale of its 41 per cent stake in Amalgamated Plantations.
Carved out of the erstwhile Tata Tea Ltd, which was later renamed Tata Global, Amalgamated Plantations has made losses for the past three years aggregating to Rs 85 crore. The Tata group holds an additional 24 per cent stake in Amalgamated Plantation, taking its total stake in the company to 65 per cent.
Tata Global is expecting an enterprise valuation of around Rs1,300 crore for its 25 estates, which produce 26 million kg of tea. Combined with tea sourced from other growers, Amalgamated Plantations produces around 41 million kg of tea a year.
Dhunseri Group plans to wait for the government to decide if tea garden workers are to be paid minimum wages before expanding into Assam. Organised sector tea producers are struggling with costs because of the compensation they have to pay under the Plantations Labour Act.