The Oman India Joint Investment Fund (OIJIF) has invested Rs 95 crore ($15.3 million) in Gujarat-based agro-chemical company GSP Crop Science.
Boutique investment banking firm Quest Profin Advisor Private Limited was the sole arranger for this investment.
OIJIF started in 2010 with a corpus of $100 million and is trying to raise about $350 million for a new fund. The fund is a joint venture between State Bank of India and State General Reserve Fund. The fund has made five investments since 2011. Its current investments include National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Ltd, ING Vysya Bank Ltd and Solar Explosives Ltd.
Agro-business sector in India has elicited foreign investors' interest. In September, India's largest private sector dairy farm Hatsun Agro Product Ltd raised $4.8 million from HNIs after PE firm WestBridge Capital picked up 1.23 per cent stake in the company. Recently, Japanese firm Nihon Nohyaku announced that it will pick up 74 per cent stake in medium-sized agro-chemical manufacturer Hyderabad Chemicals Ltd.
“We invested in GSP Crop Science based on its underlying strengths in research and development leading to innovative products, marquee multinational and domestic customers, a prudent mix of branded products and bulk sales in India and abroad. The focused vision, planned operations and strong leadership of GSP Crop Sciences excite us. The company has a strong product positioning in the market and is a leader among its peers,” says S Srinath, CEO at OIJIF.
“We believe there is a huge potential for growth in agrochemical sector in India driven by growing awareness among farmers and favourable political impetus to increase farm productivity. With OIJIF’s investment and our internal resources, GSP aims to double its market share in three years. We have found like-minded partners in OIJIF to further accelerate our vision of being a dominant player in this segment,” says Kenal Shah, managing director of GSP Crop Science.
Established in 1972, GSP Crop Science is a leading manufacturer, distributor of bulk and branded agro chemicals. These include technical grade ingredients, formulations of insecticides, fungicide, herbicides, intermediates, bio-pesticides and seed-treatment chemicals. Its portfolio comprises of more than 70 branded products, a suite of technical products resulting in over 300 SKUs of its products. Products are marketed through a pan-India network of 5,000 distributors, over 30,000 dealers and 34 depots. GSP exports its products to 25 countries.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)