India Digest: L Catterton eyes Patanjali; Mirae Asset to enter PE; CDC fully exits Ujjivan

Photo: Reuters

In recent developments in the country’s private equity (PE) space, French group LVMH has expressed interest in buying a stake in Patanjali Ayurved Ltd for up to $500 million. Meanwhile, Mirae Asset Global Investments is looking to enter PE, investment banking and broking businesses in India, while CDC Group has fully exited Ujjivan Financial Services.

Louis Vuitton PE arm eyes Patanjali

Private equity fund L Catterton, which is co-owned by French luxury group LVMH or Louis Vuitton, has expressed interest in buying a stake in Indian FMCG company Patanjali Ayurved Ltd, founded by Yoga guru Baba Ramdev, said a report in The Economic Times.

The private equity firm is willing to invest as much as $500 million in the Indian company which is close to half of their remaining funds in Asia.

“We would love to work with him if we can find a model,” L Catterton Asia Managing Partner Ravi Thakran was quoted saying in the report. Patanjali could sell its products in markets such as the US, Japan, China, South Korea and Europe and L Catterton could help in that effort, he said.

Patanjali has emerged as one of India’s biggest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies in India with a range of ayurveda-based products in the past few years, thus posing a tough fight to the likes of Hindustan Unilever, and Colgate Palmolive.

Mirae Asset to enter PE

Mirae Asset Global Investments on Thursday said that it is entering into private equity (PE), investment banking and broking businesses in a move to enhance its presence in the country.

Mirae Asset Group scouting for private venture/equity investments in India and is setting up investment banking and broking business through Mirae Asset Capital Market India Pvt. Ltd.

The firm plans to launch a short-term fund by the end of next month. For the remaining part of the year, the firm will launch hybrid funds like equity savings fund and an arbitrage fund.

“We are also looking at launching passive investment products (ETFs) in 2018,” Mohanty was quoted saying in a PTI report.

It is also expected to apply to SEBI for an AIF in Q2 2018, which will invest in private debt across the credit opportunities spectrum, mostly focusing on higher grade projects or entities as well as undertake venture debt investments.

CDC fully exits Ujjivan

CDC Group, the development finance institution owned by the UK government, has fully exited Ujjivan Financial Services, the listed holding company for Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, realizing more than $63.4 million.

CDC has sold 2.3 million shares in Ujjivan in open market transactions for Rs405 each this week.

The institution has been trimming its stake in the Indian company since the second quarter of last year after the 12-month post-IPO lock-in on its shareholding ended in May. In May, CDC sold a total of 2.75 million shares worth approximately Rs99 crore at a price of Rs360 apiece. It further sold stake worth Rs212 crore in Ujjivan Financial Services in August last year.

CDC invested in Ujjivan in 2015. Ujjivan Small Finance Bank commenced its operations from February 2017