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December 03, 2009

What went wrong at Champagne Indage?

A Forbes India article on the big troubles at listed wine maker Champagne Indage pins the blame on foreign acquisitions made by the company.
In June, Chougule admitted that sales volumes had fallen 60 percent since September 2008. Its stock price has crashed from Rs. 853 in November 2007 to Rs. 55 now. The company has stopped supplying to hotels. Salaries at the company have been delayed and on September 1 this year, 250 of the company’s 450 employees resigned en masse, underlining their disgust for a company that had not paid them since November 2008.

...Indage relied heavily on foreign currency loans for foreign acquisitions. A former employee in senior management at Indage said that 40 percent of its current debt is in foreign currency.

...Can Indage come back? The Chougule family recently pledged almost 98 percent of its 25.42 percent stake in the firm, proving it doesn’t think the show is over. On June 10, Indage announced its board had approved a plan to raise Rs. 2 billion ($42 million) via a rights issue. However, there has been no progress on that.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of data and analysis on private equity, venture capital and M&A deals in India. View free samples of Venture Intelligence newsletters and reports. Email the author at