(Photo: Bloomberg)
(Photo: Bloomberg)

Avendus fund acquires stake in Bikaji Foods

  • Avendus FLF bought the stake through a secondary investment
  • The fund is looking to raise a total corpus of 500 crore from individual and institutional investors

Mumbai: Avendus Future Leaders Fund-I (FLF) on Monday said it has bought a minority stake in snack maker Bikaji Foods International Ltd from two existing investors. The company did not disclose the financial details of the transaction.

Rajasthan-based Bikaji Foods is one of India’s largest manufacturers of branded ethnic snacks including bhujia, namkeen, sweets and papad, besides western snacks. Founded by Shiv Ratan Agarwal at Bikaner in 1987, the company now has a national distribution footprint.

Avendus FLF bought the stake from private equity firm Lighthouse and investment banking firm Intensive Softshare. Lighthouse had acquired a 12.5% stake in the company in 2014 for 90 crore.

“Bikaji has established itself as a leading company in the Indian ethnic snacks segment with a sizable market share, profitability and a platform geared for growth. With pan-India presence and favourable macro tailwinds, the company is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years," Ritesh Chandra, managing partner and head at Avendus FLF said in a statement.

Avendus FLF, a category 2 alternative investment fund (AIF), focuses on tactical opportunities in market leading, late stage private companies in the consumer and financial services segments.

The fund is looking to raise a total corpus of 500 crore from individual and institutional investors. During its life cycle, the fund plans to invest in eight to ten companies with an average investment size of 40-75 crore. In May 2018, IIFL Asset Management Ltd’s IIFL Special Opportunities Fund invested 251 crore in Bikaji for a minority stake in a combination of primary and secondary investments. Avendus FLF is the latest fund offering from the Avendus group, which has been focussing on building a large alternative asset management business.

In February, Mint reported that Avendus had launched a $1-billion fund to invest solely in companies that promote environment, social, and governance (ESG) values. The Avendus India ESG Fund, housed under the company’s alternate asset management arm, plans to raise money from both domestic and international investors.

Last year, Ocean Dial Asset Management Ltd, an asset management company owned by Avendus Capital, launched an equity public markets focused AIF, targeting a corpus of 1,500 crore. Avendus acquired Ocean Dial, a UK-based asset management company, in August last year.

Avendus launched its alternative asset management business focused on listed companies in 2017 with the Avendus Absolute Return Fund, a hedge fund led by Andrew Holland and Vaibhav Sanghavi.

In 2017, Avendus also acquired technology-focused PE company Zodius Capital Advisors, an early investor in startups like online furniture retailer Pepperfry and grocery site BigBasket.

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