India: Agri-focused PE firm Rabo Equity to raise $400m for new fund

Combine and harvester in a field. Image from Freedigitalphotos.com Photo by adamr. ID: 10074614

Food and agribusiness sector-focused investor Rabo Equity Advisors is planning to raise around $400 million to step up its investments in India.

The Netherlands-headquartered Rabobank holds 51 per cent stake in Rabo Equity Advisors, while senior employees of the company own the balance 49 per cent.

According to a report in The Economic Times, Rabo Equity is looking to attract global institutional investors to fund its plans to more than double its investments in the country.

“We have started preparing for this new round of fundraising ($400 million),” Rajesh Srivastava, chairman of Rabo Equity Advisors told the newspaper. “We expect many global investors to participate as we will conclude it in the next calendar year.”

The third fund is likely to be the biggest investment fund dedicated to the agriculture space. Another agriculture and food-tech focused venture capital firm Omnivore Partners is looking to close its $80-million fund soon, while Mandala Capital is currently deploying its $165-million fund.

Rabo Equity Advisors had floated its first India-focused fund in 2008 with a corpus of $120 million, which had seen the participation of investors such as International Finance Corporation and DEG. Subsequently, in 2014, it floated a $150-million fund with the backing of CDC Group, Asian Development Bank, Generali Insurance, French sovereign wealth fund Proparco and Denmark-based IFU. Rabobank backed both funds with a $30-million investment each.

Rabo Equity plans to focus on the food processing sector, which is estimated to grow 12-15 per cent CAGR in the next five years, through its new fund. The investment firm is also keen to invest in agribusiness infrastructure such as cold logistics and businesses that cater to modern warehousing needs.

Some of Rabo Equity’s portfolio companies are Prabhat Dairy, LT Foods and Vacmet.

Also Read:

India: Omnivore Partners aims to hit first close of its $80m fund by July