MUMBAI, INDIA — Grupo Bimbo SAB de CV is engaged in preliminary talks to acquire a majority stake in Everfoods, the packaged foods platform owned by private equity firm Everstone Capital, according to The Economic Times.

Everfoods primarily consists of the Modern bread brand and Cookie Man.

Everstone Capital acquired Modern from Hindustan Unilever Ltd. in 2016. Established in 1965 by the Government of India, Modern was the first branded bread in India. The brand has since grown to become one of India’s most recognized brands with a full range of white, sweet, health and wellness bread varieties, as well as value-added bakery products such as rusks, cakes, muffins, buns, pavs and cream rolls. Modern bread holds about 35% to 40% market share in the Indian bread market, competing with other brands such as Britannia, Harvest Gold, Nature’s Own and English Oven.

Modern’s bread and bakery products are manufactured and marketed nationally through a network of more than 40 manufacturing plants and more than 80,000 outlets.

 Everstone acquired Chennai, India-based Cookie Man in mid-2018. Cookie Man is a manufacturer and retailer of Australian cookies and bakery products such as muffins, ice creams, brownies and chocolates. It operates a network of more than 50 stores/kiosks in malls and airports in over 20 cities across India. As a part of the acquisition, Everfoods received the rights to own and operate the brand and other related intellectual property not only in India but also in adjoining countries of Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Mauritius.

Any potential transaction would significantly expand Grupo Bimbo’s presence in India, a relatively new market for the Mexico City-based baked foods company. Grupo Bimbo entered India in 2017 when it acquired a 65% stake in Ready Roti India Private Ltd., a New Delhi, India-based maker of bread, pizza bases, and sweet and savory buns.

Ready Roti operates four plants and has more than 500 employees. The company’s brands include Harvest Gold and Harvest Selects.