Blackstone, Temasek, Bain eye a big bite of Haldiram Snacks

The investors are looking to buy at least 51% stake in the sweets-and-savouries maker at a valuation of $8-10 billion. (REUTERS)
The investors are looking to buy at least 51% stake in the sweets-and-savouries maker at a valuation of $8-10 billion. (REUTERS)

Summary

The grandsons of Haldiram founder Ganga Bhishen Agarwal are evaluating a stake sale

Private equity firms Blackstone, Temasek Holdings and Bain Capital are evaluating a controlling stake in Haldiram Snacks Food Pvt. Ltd (HSFPL), three people aware of the development said. The investors are looking to buy at least 51% stake in the sweets-and-savouries maker at a valuation of $8-10 billion.

“The deal contours are being worked out. Currently, the funds are carrying out due diligence," one of the two people cited above said on condition of anonymity. The transaction, which could be one of India's largest PE deals in the consumer segment, is an indication of the deepening of the Indian market, these people said.

“For any firm to write such a large cheque in India is a mark of the confidence in the business as well as the growth prospect of the brand domestically and globally," the second person said, adding that the end-game would be to list the business. “The brand enjoys significant traction in India, and is synonymous with salty snacks and savoury in the country. It has been one of the first movers in creating this category, and it is likely to have a lot of investor interest," the person added.

Also read: Haldiram in talks to acquire majority stake in rival Prataap Snacks

Post-merger plans

The deal follows the merger of Haldiram's Nagpur and Delhi factions, which was approved by the Competition Commission of India last year. As part of the reorganization, the groups have demerged the FMCG business of HSPL and Haldiram Foods International Pvt. Ltd (HFIPL; part of the Haldiram Nagpur group) into a new entity named Haldiram Snacks Food Pvt. Ltd (HSFPL), wherein existing shareholders of HSPL and HFIPL hold 56% and 44% shareholding respectively.

The Delhi business was primarily run by Manohar Agarwal and Madhu Sudan Agarwal, while the Nagpur part of the family was led by Kamalkumar Shivkisan Agrawal, grandsons of Haldiram founder Ganga Bhishen Agarwal, who started the business in 1937. Starting out as a small family-owned sweetshop business, Haldiram today comprises more than 400 varieties of namkeen, confectionery and ready-to-eat food now sell across 100 countries. 

Also read: What a billion-dollar ‘chakna’ brand can teach MNCs about India

Pre-mix to pastas

The company sells snacks, namkeen, sweets, ready to eat / pre-mix food, frozen food, biscuits, non-carbonated ready to drink beverages, pasta, etc. The group has diverse presence in India and exports to various countries outside India, including the USA and Europe.

Queries emailed to spokespersons of Haldiram Snacks Food, Bain Capital and Blackstone remained unanswered. Temasek Holdings declined to comment.

Also read: Haldiram’s set to expand QSR footprint

Local competition

In the Indian snack and savoury segment, Haldiram’s competes with Conagra Brands, Balaji Wafers, Bikanervala Foods, ITC, Parle Products¸ PepsiCo, Prataap Snacks, TTK Foods (TTK Healthcare), and Urban Platter, besides many others.

As per a January report by research firm IMARC Group, the Indian market for snacks reached 42,694.9 crore in 2023, and may touch 95,521.8 crore by 2032, clocking an annual growth rate of 9.08% during the period. “Increasing urbanization along with rising disposable incomes and changing lifestyles are driving the growth of India snacks market. In line with this, the growing young population and the influence of western eating habits are boosting the demand for convenient ready to eat snack options across various demographics is driving India snacks market growth," the IMARC report said.

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