New Silk Route acquires majority stake in Mumbai-based café chain Moshe’s

Private equity firm New Silk Route (NSR) has acquired a majority stake in Moshe’s, a Mumbai-based café and restaurant chain which operates more than 10 outlets across three brands. The transaction details were not disclosed.

Moshe's specialises in Mediterranean cuisine. Its cafés are branded Cafe Moshe’s and the restaurants are branded Moshe's. All the current restaurants have been opened and operated by signature chef and founder Moshe Shek, an Indian Jew, who was born and raised in Mumbai.

Lodha Capital Markets (LCM) acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Moshe’s in this transaction.

NSR has been an active investor in the consumer space and has been scouting for opportunities in the restaurants business. It is expanding its food and restaurant portfolio with a $100-million planned investment. The PE firm plans to set up a holding company, which will acquire controlling stake in portfolio firms.

Its investments in India include Capricorn Hospitality, Vasudev Adiga’s, Coffee Day Resorts and Hotels, 9X Media, Ortel, KS Oils, Ascend Telecom Infrastructure, Reliance Infratel and VRL Logistics.

According to consultancy firm Technopak Advisors, the organised F&B services market in India stood at $2 billion in 2012, of which the quick service restaurant (QSR) market size was $850 million, casual dining was around $430 million and the fine dining segment was $190 million. The rest is café market besides pub/club/bar/lounge outlets.

In the recent past the food chain space has attracted lot of investment. In April this year, CX Partners invested Rs 110 crore in Barbeque Nation Hospitality. A month later, The Beer Café, an alco-beverage cum QSR chain, raised funding from Mayfield Fund. Two weeks ago Mani’s Dum Biryani raised funding from Navlok Ventures.

The QSR segment witnessed quite a few investments in 2012. For instance, Indian Angel Network invested an undisclosed amount in Mexican quick service restaurant Poncho in Mumbai. SAIF Partners invested Rs 40 crore in TMA Hospitality Services-owned Ammi's Biryani. And in July, Correa Hospitality invested $5 million in QSR chain Fishtro for an undisclosed stake.

New Silk Route is an Asia-focused growth capital firm founded in 2006 with $1.4 billion under management, focused on the Indian subcontinent, as well as other rapidly growing economies in Asia and the Middle East.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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