Mumbai: Lighthouse Funds has invested 250 crore ($35 million) from its third fund to acquire a minority stake in footwear-maker Aqualite Industries Pvt. Ltd, the consumer-focused private equity firm said on Tuesday. The footwear maker will use the funds for capacity expansion and growth, Aqualite founder Davinder Gupta said in a statement. The company is expecting a turnover of 800 crore in the current financial year.

“Aqualite has achieved scale in the footwear industry for its product quality and relationship with its channel partners. We are very excited by the growth opportunity ahead of the company," said Sachin Bhartiya, partner, Lighthouse.

Audit and consulting firm EY advised Aqualite on the fundraise.

Aqualite offers more than 6,500 products under several sub-brands. It has manufacturing units in Haryana and Rajasthan, and has a pan-India distribution network of 35,000 retailers, with significant presence in north and east India.

This is Lighthouse’s fourth investment this year. Last month, the fund invested 160 crore in Duroflex, a leading mattress brand in south India. In September, it backed beauty retailer Nykaa with 113 crore, and in June it invested 83 crore in Tynor Orthotics, a manufacturer and exporter of orthopaedic and fracture aids.

Set up by Mukund Krishnaswami and Sean Novak, Lighthouse typically invests $5-20 million per transaction in consumer-facing firms. Some of its previous investments include Bikaji Foods, fashion brand Fabindia and biscuit-maker Unibic.

Lighthouse India Fund III has a corpus of $200 million. Its institutional investors include International Finance Corporation, the private investment arm of the World Bank, which invested $20 million. IFC AMC, its asset management unit, was also considering a parallel investment of up to $25 million in the fund, which would have taken the investor’s total commitment to the third Lighthouse fund to $45 million, the PE firm had said last year.

Campus Activewear, a casual sports and footwear brand, and a competitor to Aqualite, had sold a minority stake in September 2017 to TPG Growth, the mid-market and growth-focussed fund of private equity giant TPG, and the family office of the promoters of Havells Group.

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