India: LT Foods raises $19.7m from Rabo Equity for its organic food unit

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LT Foods Ltd, known for its rice brand Daawat, has raised Rs 140 crore from existing investor Rabo Equity Advisors for its wholly-owned subsidiary Nature Bio Foods Ltd (NBFL) in lieu of an equity stake, the firm stated in an exchange announcement on Monday. Rabo Equity Advisors, focused on investments in food and agribusiness sectors will be investing out of its India Agri Business Fund II.

“The board of directors of LT Foods took note of and approved the proposed investment of up to Rs 140 crore (Indian rupees one hundred forty crores) by India Agri Business Fund II Limited in the share capital of Nature Bio Foods Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, in one or more tranches in terms of the definitive agreements signed amongst the parties and subject to fulfilment of certain conditions as set out in the definitive agreements,” the exchange announcement stated. The stake acquired by the fund was not disclosed.

Launched in 1998, NBFL produces organic food items and its product offerings span across rice, grains, oil and oil seeds, nuts, sweeteners and spices among others. According to 2017-18 annual report of LT Foods, NBFL clocked total revenues of Rs 361 crore in 2018, “representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 44% between 2013 and 2018.” The firm generates 90% of its business from exports and has a strong presence in the US and European markets.

LT Foods flagships brands include Daawat, Heritage, Royal and Ecolife. The firm acquired Hindustan Unilever Ltd’s rice export business in 2016, giving it an entry in Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, besides strengthening its presence in traditional export bases in the region such as Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait.

Rabo Equity had also infused $10 million in LT Foods, the listed parent of NBFL in 2009. In December 2017, the firm invested an undisclosed amount in lieu of a significant stake in Mumbai-based restaurant chain Olive Bar and Kitchen Pvt. Ltd. In June 2016, the firm had invested $15 million in Cremica Food Industries Ltd for a minority stake.

This article was first published on livemint.com

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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).

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  • 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. 
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