Logistics firm Stellar buys majority stake in Kelvin Cold Chain; Ambit Pragma partially exits

Stellar Value Chain Solutions Pvt Ltd, a third-party logistics company floated last year by former chief of Kishore Biyani-led Future Supply Chains Solutions Ltd, on Monday said it has acquired a majority stake in cold chain firm Kelvin Cold Chain. Stellar, however, did not disclose the financial details of the transaction. 

The acquisition will help Stellar Value Chain enter the cold chain space, and build its position as an end-to-end value-chain transformation company, it said in a statement. 

Kelvin Cold Chain, founded in 1996, received its first external investment of $5.33 million in 2012 from mid-market private equity firm Ambit Pragma Ventures Pvt. Ltd, according to VCCEdge, the data and research platform of News Corp VCCircle.  

Ambit Pragma partially exited Kelvin during the transaction but will retain a minority stake, a company spokesperson said, without elaborating further. 

Anshuman Singh, founder and CEO of Stellar Value Chain, said the investment will help augment Kelvin Cold Chain's management, implement new technology tools and raise the quality of product handling to unlock value for customers.  

The company will seek to make further acquisitions in the third-party logistics sector in India, he added.

Singh started Stellar Value Chain in July last year after quitting as managing director and CEO of Future Supply Chains Solutions Ltd, where he worked for nearly a decade.

Stellar Value Chain is building a pan-India network of 25 integrated logistics parks across 21 consumption and production centres, the statement said. These logistics parks will offer multi-user modern dry warehousing, multi-user e-commerce fulfilment, multi-user cold storage (frozen and chilled), apart from distribution, express transportation, in-city transportation and many more customisable, value-added services.

Notabaly, in August, private equity firm Warburg Pincus agreed to invest up to $125 million (Rs 835 crore) in the logistics startup. Singh’s deal with Warburg Pincus came after Singapore's distressed assets fund management firm SSG Capital Management Group agreed to acquire a 40% stake in Future Supply in April.

Warburg Pincus had previously also made large bets on Indian logistics companies. In June last year, it invested $133 million in e-commerce logistics startup Ecom Express. In October 2015, it set up a $250-million joint venture with developer Embassy Parks to build warehouses and industrial parks.

The PE firm has also begun the process of exiting some of its logistics investments. VCCircle reported last month that Warburg Pincus-backed Continental Warehousing is planning an initial public offering and has hired bankers.

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