Condiments maker Cremica Food to raise $15 mn from Rabo Equity

Condiments maker Cremica Food Industries Ltd is raising Rs 101 crore ($15 million) from food and agri-focused private equity firm Rabo Equity Advisors, the company said in a statement.

The PE firm will acquire a minority stake in the company. The transaction is routed through India Agri Business Fund II, which marked its first deal though this investment.

VCCircle was the first to report that the company is in advanced talks with several private equity players in the country to raise close to Rs 100 crore.

“The deal will be finalised by the end of this month. It is not going to be a single-investor deal,” Akshay Bector, managing director, Cremica Food had told VCCircle.

The company is also buying back the stake held by Motilal Oswal Private Equity Advisors Pvt. Ltd.

Motilal Oswal PE had originally invested Rs 48 crore in Mrs Bector’s Food Specialities Ltd, originally Cremica Food's parent. Three years ago, Cremica Food was hived off from Mrs Bector’s Food when the company’s biscuits and condiments units were split among the Bector siblings Anoop, Akshay and Ajay with equal shareholding.

As part of a 2013 family settlement, Anoop took charge of the biscuits and bakery unit while Akshay took charge of the condiments business. Ajay and Motilal Oswal PE sold their stake in the biscuits business late last year to a group of investors led by private equity firm CX Partners and Gateway Partners, though it wasn’t disclosed whether they completely exited.

The company makes tomato ketchup, bread spreads, mayonnaise, snacks among other products, and sells mainly in the northern region.  

The firm claims to have clocked in revenue of Rs 200 crore for the year ended March 31, 2016. It aims to grow revenue at least 25% in FY2016-17 as it expands its distribution network.

Rabo Equity was eyeing $200 million under its second fund. It has already raised $150 million and aims to wrap up the fundraising within two months.

The PE firm is likely to make 10-12 investments from this fund, which will invest in food and agriculture businesses in the country. The average ticket size for each transaction will be $15-20 million.

The fund has made three full exits and two partial exits from its previous fund. It has made full exits from National Collateral (acquired by Fairfax India), Geepee Agri Pvt Ltd and Sri Biotech. It has clocked part-exits from Global Green (via a share buyback) and Prabhat Dairy (via its IPO), which made a tepid stock-market debut last year.

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