KKR & Co has signed a definitive agreement to acquire a controlling stake in personal care and beauty products firm Vini Cosmetics for Rs 4,600 crore ($625 million), the company said.
It will buy the stake from Sequoia Capital and Vini founders Darshan Patel and Dipam Patel who will continue to hold a stake in the company.
Existing investor WestBridge Capital will also acquire a stake from the founders.
The transaction is expected to be completed by July. Abhay Pandey, former Sequoia partner, tweeted that the majority control was sold at a valuation of $1.2 billion and that the founders held 62% before this deal.
Founded in 2010, Vini manufactures, markets and distributes its branded deodorants, cosmetics and toiletries through its flagship brand FOGG and other widely recognised brands such as OSSUM, GlamUp, and several others.
Vini has built one of India’s largest personal care products distribution networks with approximately 700,000 points of sale and 3,000 dealers, supported by a sales force of 1,200 people.
Vini’s products are also sold internationally through a network of general trade and modern trade channels covering 50 countries, with significant presence in South Asia and the Middle East.
Darshan Patel will continue as the chairman of Vini’s board and Dipam Patel will be appointed as vice-chairman of the board.
WestBridge Capital had picked up a minority stake in the company in 2017.
“... we believe we are in the early stages of what our brands can deliver as consumer demand for high-quality personal care products continues to explode in India, South Asia and other fast-growing markets around the world,” said Darshan Patel, chairman and joint-managing director of Vini.
Darshan Patel is also credited with launching popular over-the-counter consumer healthcare brands such as Krack cream, Itch Guard, Set Wet, Dermicool and Livon and taking the family-owned Paras Pharmaceuticals towards marketing glory along with brothers Girish and Devendra.
He left Paras in 2006 following differences with his brothers and sold his 24% stake to private equity firm Actis Capital for $43 million. His two brothers subsequently sold their stakes in Paras to UK-based consumer goods major Reckitt Benckiser Group in 2010 for Rs 3,260 crore.
“Darshan and Dipam are industry pioneers, and we are excited to work with them and their team to capture new growth opportunities stemming from a young, emerging middle-class that increasingly seeks upgraded products. Our investment in Vini also underscores KKR’s long-term commitment to support India’s innovative and dynamic companies as they become leaders in their industries," Gaurav Trehan, partner at KKR, said.
KKR is making its investment from its Asian Fund IV. With this deal, it has invested approximately $5.6 billion in India since 2006.
Over the past 12 months, KKR has acquired a controlling stake in JB Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals; and smaller stakes in Lenskart, an omni-channel eyewear retailer; Five Star, a lender to small businesses; Reliance Jio, a technology platform that provides digital services; and Reliance Retail.
The broader beauty and personal care segment has attracted a slew of investors over the past few years.
In April, personal care brand Mamaearth was reported to be in advanced discussions with a European investor to provide exits for two early-stage venture capital funds
In April, VCCircle reported that US-based cosmetics maker Estée Lauder is in talks to take control of a homegrown personal care brand in which it owns a minority stake.
Prior to that, mid-market private equity firm Lighthouse Funds was reported to be investing in Kolkata-based skincare brand.
Last month, homegrown private equity firm ChrysCapital was reported to be in discussions to invest in a reputed skin care and wellness brand.
The same month, Scentials Beauty Care and Wellness raised $6 million from local buyout fund TIW Private Equity.
Before that, SUGAR Cosmetics raised $21 million (Rs 153 crore) in its Series C funding round led by Elevation Capital (formerly SAIF Partners).
In November last year, VCCircle reported that venture capital firm and growth equity investor Sequoia Capital had made an early-stage investment in a skincare brand.
In the same month, VCCircle reported that US-based Fidelity Management & Research Company had come as a new investor in beauty and lifestyle omnichannel company Nykaa.
In September, personal care brand mCaffeine raised $5.7 million in its Series B round of funding led by homegrown mid-market private equity firm Amicus Capital.