India: Lighthouse invests $35.5m for minority stake in footwear maker Aqualite

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Mid-market private equity firm Lighthouse Advisors Pvt. Ltd has invested about $35.5 million (Rs 250 crore) for a minority stake in footwear company Aqualite Industries, the companies said in a statement.

The deal, which marks Lighthouse’s fourth investment this year, has been routed through its third fund – Lighthouse India Fund III.

Aqualite will use the funds for marketing, capacity expansion and growth plans, said a statement.

Sachin Bhartiya, Partner at Lighthouse, said, “We strongly believe in the growth story of footwear Industry in India with the current under penetration (per capita spend of only 1.8 pairs p.a. vs 3.1 in China) and consumer preference shift towards branded wear. Aqualite has achieved scale in footwear Industry, on back of product quality and relationship with the channel partners.”

Founded more than three decades ago, Aqualite offers more than 6,500 SKUs in hawai, non-hawai and shoe product categories. The products are sold under several sub-brands, under the umbrella of ‘Aqualite’. The company operates through its manufacturing units located across Haryana and Rajasthan. It has a pan-India distribution network of 35,000 retailers, with significant presence in north and east India.

The company is expecting a turnover of over Rs 800 crore in the current financial year.

“We are very excited to partner with Lighthouse, given their impressive track record of investments in over twenty-five brands. We look forward to their support and guidance for our next leg of growth,” Davinder Gupta, founder of Aqualite Industries said.

Lighthouse is focused on growth investments in India’s consumer sector. The firm invested Rs 160 crore in mattress brand Duroflex last month. In September, it made an investment of Rs113 crore in Indian beauty products retailer Nykaa, while in June, it invested Rs 83 crore in Tynor Orthotics, an orthotic soft goods brand.

In the past, it has also backed other consumer centric brands such as Bikaji Foods, luxury premium ayurvedic personal care brand Kama Ayurveda, ethnic lifestyle brand FabIndia, sanitary ware brand Cera, laminates maker Stylam Industries, QSR chain Wow! Momo, and value retailer V2 Retail.

Also Read:

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India: Lighthouse Advisors invests $22m in mattress manufacturer Duroflex

Singapore Reporter/s

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.