Nestle, ITC in race to buy Capital Foods: Reports

Makers of Ching’s Secret and Smith & Jones

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Nestle India and ITC are in the final race to acquire Mumbai-based Capital Foods, makers of Ching’s Secret and Smith & Jones, media reports said. Mint said the deal-breaker may have to pay between ₹4,000 crore-₹5,000 crore to buy the food ingredient maker.

Ching’s Secret makes chutneys, instant soups, Chinese masalas, Chinese sauces, hakka noodles and flavored noodles for the ‘Indian Chinese’ food products. Smith & Jones has pasta masala, pizza ketchup and cooking pastes.

The 25-year-old company, with manufacturing facilities in Nasik, Kandla and Vapi, is jointly owned by US private equity group General Atlantic (35.43%) and Artal Asia Pte. (39.94%), a European family office and investment arm, Wildflower Family Trust (22.08%) and founder chairman Ajay Gupta (2.55%), Mint reported.

Capital Foods posted a revenue of ₹580 crore in FY22, down 14% from a year earlier, largely because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of hotels and restaurants.

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