?Hatsun Agro looks for a greenfield project, a farm in Maharashtra
?Hatsun Agro looks for a greenfield project, a farm in Maharashtra

Dairy firm Hatsun Agro Product Ltd, one of the country's largest ice cream maker, plans to expand in Maharashtra and may look at acquiring a greenfield project or farm in the state to do so, said a top company executive.

Chennai-based Hatsun, which started off as an ice cream company in the 1970s and later expanded into milk and other dairy products, currently retails a majority of its wares in four states—Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

It began procuring milk from Maharashtra last year but sells milk only in a few pockets of the state. It now plans to expand in the state by selling milk under its Arokya brand more widely, starting with southern Maharashtra.

The firm is also looking at retailing its oldest brand – Arun ice creams–and Hatsun curd in the state.

R.G. Chandramogan, Chairman and Managing Director, Hatsun, said, "We are looking for a greenfield project, a farm, in Maharashtra. If somebody is available for a takeover there, we may look at it. When we buy a company, we prefer buying a company of a smaller size where restructuring can be done according to our requirements so we can modify the procurement system, the distribution model and advertising."

Hatsun Agro currently has 1,200 outlets and is adding another 1,800 outlets in a phased manner over the next 15 months.

Chandramogan said, "This year we’ve already invested about Rs460 crore. Next year our capex will be about Rs 390 crore – so Rs 850 crore in two years was the expansion plan. This has gone into strengthening our marketing network, expanding production capacities and streamlining of our procurement."

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