US spice giant may buy Bangalore's MTR
[ 14 Dec, 2006 0139hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]
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WASHINGTON: The groom is 117 years old and based in Baltimore, USA. The bride is 82, and is from Bangalore, India. An alliance is in the offing between two of the most storied food companies in US and India.
McCormick and Co., the largest spice company in the world, and Mavalli Tiffin Room or MTR, the famed Bangalore eatery, are talking sup. Word in the gourmet food business is that the $ 2.5 billion Baltimore behemoth is all set to win Bangalore’s desi bistro's brand and hand for a less than $ 100 million.
MTR has long been one of Bangalore’s culinary landmarks. Started in 1924 by a cook turned entrepreneur named Parampalli Yajnanarayana Maiya and his brothers, the old-fashioned eatery has expanded to become a processed and packaged food (or RTE – Ready to Eat) leader with a solid brand name based on decades of myth and masala dosa making.
McCormick has an even older history. Started in 1889 in one room and a cellar by 25-year-old Willoughby McCormick and his staff of two girls and a boy, its first products were root beer, flavouring extracts, and fruit syrups and juices. Like MTR's, its motto has been "Make the Best – Someone Will Buy it."
Both are famed innovators. McCormick is credited with introducing the tea bag in 1910, when it first put tea in gauze pouches. MTR claims to have pioneered rava idli in the 1940s, when a shortage of rice during World War II forced its cooks to experiment with sooji rava.
Whether MTR (Mavalli Tiffin Room) will remain MTR or become McTR (McCormick Tiffin Room), isn't certain. “It's speculation and we don't respond to speculation,” McCormack spokesman Jim Lynn told TOI about the possible acquisition.
But the buzz in the industry is the deal, first reported in The Economic Times , is close to fruition for around $ 90 million and will mainly involve MTR's RTE business, while leaving the TR (Tiffin Room) untouched. The word "tiffin," incidentally, is a unique Indian contribution to the English lexicon.
---Nuke power deal means India is totally dependant on foreign powers for the basic light, Iran pipeline means India is again at the mercy of pipeline safety and Iran government. Weapons too mostly imported. Chicken curry to claimed by British as national foods. Plus 81% of youth want to leave the country, and the most corrupt industrial society. Should get the least patriotic nation award. As a KGB officer said "everything is for sale in India, its unbelievable how things work".