Debt-ridden auto component manufacturer Amtek Group is reportedly planning to sell its loss-making coffee chain Barista Coffee, as part of the group's strategy to offload its non-core businesses.
To sell the Italian coffee chain it acquired last year, Amtek may rope in consultancy firm Grant Thornton to scout for "potential buyers", sources close to the development told The Economic Times.
However, so far, Grant Thornton hasn't received any "signed mandate" from Amtek to start the process, said the source.
"The deal could also be structured in a way that the Arvind Dham-promoted Amtek Auto could liquidate about a third in Carnation Hospitality, which manages Amtek's food business."
Recently, Dham had said that the group would sell non-core assets and exit non-auto businesses, after the company defaulted on its Rs 800 crore bond repayment.
Barista Coffee sale not only highlights the liquidity issues faced by Amtek, but also the difficulties in making profits in the country's coffee chain industry. Barista changed hands three times before it was sold to Amtek.
Barista was bought by Rollatainers, a subsidiary of Amtek Group, from Italian coffee firm Lavazza Spa in a deal worth Rs 100 crore.
Barista is the second largest coffee chain in India after Cafe Coffee Day, which recently got listed on the stock exchange. Barista has over 170 stores across the country, with most of them incurring losses.
Starbucks and Costa Coffee are the other major players in the domestic coffee chain industry, which is projected to be worth Rs 1,400-crore.