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Mumbai: Private equity firm Everstone Group’s packaged foods platform Everfoods on Monday said it has entered into an agreement to acquire Australian Foods India Pvt. Ltd, which sells fresh baked cookies under the Cookie Man brand.

Chennai-based Australian Foods makes and sells Australian cookies and bakery products such as muffins, ice creams, brownies, chocolates. It has a network of 50 plus stores/kiosks in malls and airports in over 20 cities across India.

Everfoods has acquired Cookie Man via its subsidiary Modern Food Enterprises Pvt. Ltd (MFEL). Anupam Saluja, chief executive officer of Cookie Man along with the current leadership team, will continue to work with Modern and Everstone, the statement said.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

With the acquisition, Everfoods also gets exclusive 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.

“Cookies are the fastest growing segment in the biscuits category, and the segment is expected to continue to grow at a double-digit rate in the coming years. Cookie Man, with its premium and authentic cookies positioning and an extremely strong equity base is a good fit for Everfoods and especially for Modern. This is the first of many acquisitions in core and adjacent spaces that we are evaluating and looking to close," said Deep Mishra, managing director, Everstone Group.

Previously in 2016, Everfoods, had acquired Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL)’s bread and bakery business under the Modern brand.

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

During the past few years, Everstone has made several investments in food and beverage firms, including Burger King India, Pan India Food Solutions Pvt. Ltd (Blue Foods), Capital Foods Ltd and Sula Vineyards.

Apart from these investments, Everstone also owns another platform in the food and beverage space—F&B Asia Ventures Ltd, a pan-Asian platform with assets across multiple cuisines, geographies and formats.

It owns and operates several leading brands such as Burger King (India and Indonesia) and Domino’s (Indonesia). The platform also has other brands such as Masala Library, Farzi Café, Pa Pa Ya, Masala Bar, Harry’s, Pind Balluchi, and Duck & Rice.

Founded in 2006 by Atul Kapoor and Samir Sain, Everstone Capital currently manages $4 billion of assets under management.

Last year in August, Everstone strengthened its team by hiring F&B industry veteran Ajay Kaul as senior director to support growth in the quick service restaurant business of its food platform F&B Asia.

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