Norwegian food company Orkla ASA told just-food today (14 February) that it has adopted a gradual approach to its entry into the Indian market, with its recent acquisition of Bangalore's MTR Foods offering a chance to learn about the Indian food industry and potentially serving as a foothold for future growth.

MTR is an Indian manufacturer of processed vegetarian ready meals, ready mixes, spices and condiments. The company's major shareholders are: the Maiya family, JPMorgan Global Packaged Foods, Indocean Packaged Foods and Magnus Capital Corporation.

"This is our first move into the Indian food sector," EVP of corporate development Roar Engeland told just-food. "It is a new area for us. MTR is not a large acquisition for us: it is an investment to learn about India. It is also a possible platform for future growth," he commented.

In 2006, MTR's operating revenue totalled NOK230m.

MTR holds leading positions in the categories in which it operates - something Engeland said Orkla looks for in overseas investments. "When we are acquiring a foreign company, we look for good brands operating in a growth area. We also look for good management, because we cannot be on the ground to manage the company," Engeland said.

Further financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.