NEW DELHI, June 26, 2006 (AFP) – India’s largest coffee producer, Tata Coffee Ltd. said Monday it signed a deal to buy U.S.-based Eight O’Clock Co. from Gryphon Investors for 220 million dollars. “This acquisition is a strategic fit with our growth plans and helps Tata Coffee in attaining its objective to become an international and fully integrated player in the coffee industry,” Tata Coffee Managing Director M.H. Ashraff said in a statement to the Mumbai stock exchange.
Tata said it would pay for the purchase of New Jersey-based Eight O’ Clock through a mix of equity and debt. The deal will give Tata Coffee access to the 21 billion dollar branded coffee bean market in the United States and help the company emerge as a global player from a regional player in the Indian market, it said.