Tata Tea is looking to make a foray into the US soft drinks market, according to reports. The Indian company is thought to be eyeing AriZona Beverages in the US as a possible takeover, the Economic Times said yesterday (8 August). The newspaper cited unnamed sources in the report.

The US drinks company, which is actually based in New York state, specialises in RTD tea brands. The paper claimed that Tata is mulling spending US$2bn on a takeover of the company.

The speculation comes in the same week that Tata has seen its move to up its stake in Mount Everest Mineral Water hit the buffers. The Indian company's bid to buy a further 20% of Mount Everest - in which it already holds a 26% stake - has been deferred until further notice. Local reports suggest that market regulator Sebi has sought some clarifications from Tata.

Earlier this year, local reports also suggested that Tata was interested in joining a bid for Cadbury Schweppes' US beverage business. Tata was thought to be combining a joint bid being lodged by private equity group Blackstone and Lion Capital for the unit.

Cadbury is still no nearer deciding when the sale will go through.