LT Foods acquires 817 Elephant basmati rice brand

Public-listed rice exporter and marketer LT Foods Ltd has acquired the 817 Elephant brand of rice from its Amritsar-based parent company Deva Singh Sham Singh (DSSS).

In a stock market disclosure last week, LT Foods said its UK subsidiary LT Foods International Ltd made the acquisition to strengthen its presence in Canada, the US and Israel.

The financial details of the deal were not immediately known.

The 817 Elephant brand has been supplying rice to the large Indian and Middle Eastern ethic markets in the US, Canada, Australia, Europe and Middle East.

DSSS, which was launched in 1920, exports rise to over 18 countries worldwide. The company, according to its website, operates two processing plants and a modern research laboratory with an installed capacity of over 12MT per hour of milling.

DSSS also supplies basmati rice to several large grocery and cash & carry chains. These include Giant, Safeway, A&P and Wegmans in the US and Loblaws, Walmart and Sobey’s in Canada. LT Foods manufactures and exports under three broad verticals: value-added products, organic food and international trading under brands such as Daawat, Royal, Devaaya, Heritage, Rozana and Chef’s Secretz.

This was the second deal sealed by the company this year to ramp up its export business. Earlier this year, it inked a deal to buy the rice export business from consumer goods major Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL). It has recently got an approval from the competition authority to go ahead with the transaction.

The company had said that the acquisition will help it enter the markets of Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, besides strengthening its presence in traditional export bases in the region such as Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait.

The company also recently saw food and agri-focused private equity firm Rabo Equity Advisors part-exiting its almost seven-year-old investment in the company.

VCCircle had first reported that the PE firm is preparing to exit LT Foods and its subsidiary Daawat Foods Ltd by the end of this calendar year.

LT Foods has grown almost three times since Rabo invested in the firm. In the year ended March 31, 2016, it clocked consolidated net sales of Rs 2,979 crore and net profit of Rs 72.1 crore.

LT Foods’ scrip were trading at Rs 298.05 a share on BSE on Monday afternoon.

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