Motilal Oswal PE fund invests in branded staple food firm Ganesh Grains
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The funds managed by MOPE Investment Advisors Pvt. Ltd (MOPE), the PE arm of Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd, have invested Rs 100 crore ($15 million) in branded staple food manufacturer and marketer Ganesh Grains Ltd for a significant minority stake.

This is the first time Ganesh Grains, which was founded in 1936, has raised private equity capital, MOPE said in a statement. The investment was done through MOPE's India Business Excellence Fund-II and India Business Excellence Fund-IIA, it added.

The funds will be used for expansion of capacity, deepening the distribution network and brand building, Manish Mimani, managing director of Ganesh Grains, said in the statement.

Ganesh Grains, which has a strong presence in the eastern region of the country, is engaged in manufacturing wheat products. Its products include atta, besan, sooji, dalia, sattu, maida, powders of cereals and pulses that are sold under the Ganesh brand.

The Kolkata-based company operates through a supply chain network with more than 35,000 retailers. It has eight state manufacturing facilities in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh & Andhra Pradesh, the statement said.

Ganesh Grains reported net profit of Rs 6.64 crore on net sales of Rs 312.5 crore in fiscal 2014-15, according to News Corp VCCEdge based on the company's ROC filings. It had net profit of Rs 5.11 crore on net sales of Rs 254.18 crore in fiscal 2013-14.

"The food staples industry is undergoing a fundamental transformation. The combined effects of demographic shifts & rise of new consumption centers, will have a profound impact on the shape of demand over the next few decades," said Vishal Tulsyan, managing director and CEO, MOPE. 

Rabo Bank acted as an exclusive financial advisor to Ganesh Grains for this transaction.

MOPE's investments

Early in July, MOPE appointed Amit Chaudhary, who was SVP (Corporate Finance) at e-commerce firm Snapdeal, as director in its private equity business to drive its consumer investments. 

MOPE is managing two growth capital funds—India Business Excellence Fund (IBEF) and India Business Excellence Fund II (IBEF II)—providing growth capital to mid-market companies, typically in the range of $10-25 million, focused on domestic consumption, financial services, infrastructure ancillary, and manufacturing.

Currently, MOPE is investing out of the second fund and the investment in Ganesh Grains is its ninth transaction from the fund.

In 2012, MOPE raised IBEF II, a Rs 950 crore ($160 million) growth capital fund. Its others investments include Intec Capital, Magicrete, Glass Wall Systems, Indian Energy Exchange Ltd, Kurlon Enterprise Ltd, Arinna Lifesciences Pvt. Ltd.

The first fund IBEF, launched in 2007, is a Rs 550 crore ($125 million) fund and is fully invested in 13 portfolio companies. IBEF is in an exit phase and has already made nine partial exits. The fund I invested in Time Technoplast, IMP Powers, inTarvo, Effort BPO, Resurgere, AU Financiers, Gowardhan, Dixon, Power Mech Projects Ltd, Minda Industries Ltd, Mrs Bector Foods Specialities Ltd, GR infra projects and Electromech.

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