By 01 February, 2010

Asiabridge Fund has picked up an undisclosed stake in the retail arm of textile firm Alok Industries for Rs 45 crore (just short of $10 million). Alok H&A, a subsidiary of the listed textile firm, is engaged in the cash and carry business of apparels and home textiles across the country with around 150 stores at present.

The money will perhaps be used to support the massive expansion plan where the company is eyeing 1,000 stores in the next three years. The company expects to break-even in the coming financial year.

Currently, it has nine brands, including Cotton Island, Cotton Ova and Urban Legend (for men), Side FX and Edition (women), Vintage Angels and Vintage Warriors for kids, Reflections in home furnishing segment and Extensions in accessories. It also has plans to launch four to five private labels soon.

Asiabridge has been bullish on the Indian consumption story and had in the recent past hiked holding in TPG-backed consumer finance firm Shriram City Union Finance.

Although PE firms have not been too active in the textile space, they have struck quite a few deals in the front end of the business (textile retailing). For instance, ADM Capital had announced $25 million deal to pick 10% stake in Brandhouse Retail, the apparel and home textile retailing venture of S Kumar’s. Another player in the space is GHCL’s Rosebys Interiors which runs home textile retail chain.

Meanwhile, the parent firm Alok Textiles which in turn is backed by investments from IL&FS Private Equity Trust-Leverage India Fund, has further fund raising plans and is looking to raise up to Rs 460 crore($100 million) through issue of shares or convertible instruments, as per a disclosure to the bourses.

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