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JIL announces tech partnership with US firm; to retire debt by mid-year


Jagatjit Industries Ltd (JIL), maker of IMFL spirits Aristocrat Premium, AC and Binnies, has forged a partnership with Lost Spirits Technologies (LST), the technology development arm of Lost Spirits Distillery LLC, in an attempt to turn around flagging sales and match up to bigger rivals. The partnership will involve technology sharing by LST which will allow JIL to accelerate aging of alcoholic spirits through a patented technology. “This is a disruptive technology which results in replication of a 20-year aged alcoholic spirit in a span of six days.. it will bring down costs by 40%,” JIL chief restructuring officer Roshini Jaiswal said.

JIL had raised structured debt funding of Rs 265 crore from Indiabulls Group in 2018, and the total debt of JIL as on March 2018 was about Rs 350 crore. The company said a substantial part of this debt has been taken over by IndusInd bankNSE 0.40 % at a lower interest rate and the balance is being retired by monetization of surplus land assets, adding that it would have retired around 30% of its debt by mid-year.

Jaiswal said with the association with LST, JIL would launch new products in the premium segment and explore associations with other alcoholic spirits makers in India. “We will explore potential tie-ups to lease out the technology and reduce dependence on imports from Scotland and prohibitive costs associated with barrel aging,” she said.

Besides a drop in sales, JIL has been facing inadequate working capital and sales in negative margin markets.