Cartica Capital hikes stake in Jockey innerwear maker Page Industries, buys 2.5% more for $27.5M

Emerging markets-focused investment firm Cartica Capital has acquired 2.5 per cent equity additional stake in Page Industries -- a licensed manufacturer of the Jockey brand of innerwear for men and women in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal --  for Rs 168 crore ($27.5 million).

Cartica Capital picked up 2.8 lakh at an average price of Rs 6,000 per share on NSE. Of the total, 69,723 equity shares were bought from HDFC Equity Fund. Simultaneously, Page Industries’ promoter Genomal family also sold some 1.35 per cent stake on Tuesday. Although it was not disclosed who picked these it is believed to have been acquired by Cartica Capital.

The investment firm had last month also acquired shares through open market purchases from HDFC Mutual Fund besides Genomals.

It had picked 5 per cent stake last month for Rs 317 crore ($51.2 million) and the latest transaction lifts its total exposure to the company to Rs 485 crore ($78.7 million).

It is already the second-largest institutional shareholder of Page Industries in which another public markets focused PE firm Nalanda Capital holds 9.96 per cent stake. Nalanda is sitting on a multi-bagger on its investment in the company which sports a $1.15 billion market cap.

Page Industries scrip shot up almost 4 per cent in late afternoon trades and were quoting at Rs 6,370 a share on the BSE in a flat Mumbai market on Wednesday.

For the first nine months of FY14, Page Industries reported a 36 per cent increase in revenues to Rs 904.4 crore compared with the same period last year with a 33 per cent rise in net profit to Rs 118.66 crore. For Q3FY14, Page Industries reported 40 per cent rise in net sales to Rs 302.51 crore with 36 per cent increase in net profit of Rs 34.63 crore.

Another company in the innerwear segment that has attracted private equity interest is Lovable Lingerie, which counts Nalanda Capital and Sequoia Capital India as investors.

The latest investment marks the second bet on the consumer sector for Cartica Capital in India. The investment firm, which was set up in 2008 by former International Finance Corporation (IFC) executives, last year picked up 5.68 per cent stake in TTK Prestige, one of the top small kitchen appliances firms in India, for Rs 230 crore.

Cartica Capital focuses on public companies and manages investments for large US pensions like CalPERS and the State of Wisconsin Investment Board among others. In India, Cartica's other investments include financial services companies such as Ratnakar Bank and Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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