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Thursday, 30 June 2011






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After Indian debacle:

Ceylon Biscuits opts for Bangladesh

Second factory at Seethawaka end 2011; Exports already to over 45 countries:

Ceylon Biscuits Ltd (CBL), whose flagship Munchee brand swept the board at the Presidential Export Awards on Tuesday night, will shortly re-enter a fresh South Asian market when it establishes a fresh manufacturing facility in Bangladesh, whose population numbers 140 million.

CBL’s Munchee won a total tally of nine awards including the ‘Best Sri Lanka Brand Exporter’ and ‘Exporter of the Year’ for the three consecutive years, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

“The parent company CBL is seriously looking at a manufacturing facility in Bangladesh. The new facility will be in an industrial zone outside Dhaka. The investment will be made through one of our seven subsidiaries using one of our popular Munchee range brands,” an CBL Chairman Mineka Wickramasinghe told Daily News Business yesterday.

“Finding suitable land with infrastructural facilities was the delay in implementing our plans to be in production this year. We have now identified a few blocks of land and will be going in for inspection soon after the deeds and the legal formalities are completed,” he said.

This is a sequel to the Sri Lankan manufacturer having an adverse experience with its North Indian factory at Patiala where it operated for four years but had to close down due to a New Delhi High Court judgment following a blunder made by the liquidator.

“We were operating in India for four years and were the third best selling brand in the Indian market after Parle and Britannia, but there was a drastic piece of legislation brought where our factory, which we acquired from Bakeman, was taken over where a petition was upheld by Court for having conducted the auction by a provisional liquidator selected by the Court and not an official liquidator. It has been pointed out that 50% of Court auctions are conducted by provisional liquidators. ‘Court blunders, Munchee victimized’ was an echo from one of the executives.”

The Chairman said, “All happens for the best, India rejects but Bangladesh welcomes us.” Meanwhile, Ceylon Biscuits will be going in for a new factory operation at the Seethawaka Industrial Zone which will be ready by the end of the year. This factory will also be for export to worldwide markets.

“The machinery will arrive from European manufacturers and we will be commencing trial runs by December and we will be giving fresh employment to at least 70 people,” he said. Munchee is at present, exported to over 45 countries.



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