AION Capital, a joint investment platform of Apollo Global and ICICI Venture, has invested Rs 600 crore ($90 million) to buy an undisclosed stake in Varun Beverages Ltd (VBL), a leading manufacturer of beverages in India and one of the largest bottlers of Pepsi in India and certain international markets.
AION invested through AION Investments II Singapore Pte Ltd through a mix of primary infusion or fresh investment in the company and secondary purchase from existing investors.
Out of the total, Rs 300 crore has been invested in the company through non-convertible debentures. This will be used by the firm VBL for refinancing existing debt and to expand operations. In addition, AION acquired compulsorily convertible debentures from existing investors for Rs 300 crore. It did not name the selling investors.
VBL is promoted by the RJ Corp group which comprises diversified business interests ranging from beverages, fast food restaurants, ice creams & dairy products, education, health care and hospitality.
Ravi K Jaipuria, chairman of Varun Beverages Ltd, said, “I am delighted to extend a warm welcome to AION, which now becomes the largest external investor in Varun Beverages, the flagship company of the RJ Corp Group.”
In India, VBL manufactures and markets beverages under the ‘Pepsi’ brand and its beverage portfolio includes Pepsi, 7UP, Mirinda and Mountain Dew brands; Lehar brand soda, low calorie drinks such as Diet Pepsi; Aquafina packaged water; and juice-based drinks such as Slice.
It is the franchisee bottler for beverages under the ‘Pepsi’ brand, with the licence to supply the same in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Delhi, West Bengal, Goa, North East, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh, parts of Maharashtra and parts of Madhya Pradesh.
VBL, through its subsidiaries, also has presence in Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Varun Beverages International, a group firm, had previously raised funding from Standard Chartered Private Equity.