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Samara Capital to bet on cosmetics firm Nature's Essence
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Mid-market private equity firm Samara Capital, which stepped on the gas last year with a number of deals in sectors such as retail and logistics, will invest in Nature's Essence Pvt. Ltd, which sells skincare and haircare products.

Samara Capital will put in Rs 200 crore ($29 million at current exchange rates) into the Delhi-based company for a significant majority stake, it said in a statement.

Nature's Essence will use the capital for marketing and distribution and to consolidate its group entities, the statement added.

The firm's product portfolio includes face care products such as facial kits, bleaches, face-packs, face washes and body care products such as creams, lotions and gels.

“I and my team are very excited to partner with Samara Capital to take Nature’s Essence to its next phase of growth," said Raj Kumar Nanda, director at NEPL.

The company’s products are sold in over 2 lakh retail outlets and 40,000 salons through a pan-India distribution network. The company claims that along with its group entities, which are in the process of being consolidated, generate sales of Rs 150 crore and is growing at 15% per annum.

“We see exciting potential for the brand to keep adding to the depth as well as breadth of its offering,” said Abhishek Kabra, managing director at Samara Capital.

Audit and consulting firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India and boutique investment bank Lymonds Mirus represented NEPL and Samara, respectively, for this transaction.

Samara Capital

The PE firm was founded in late 2006 by former top Citigroup India executives Sumeet Narang and Gautam Gode. The firm makes its investments from two funds and typically puts in $15-100 million in a single transaction. It raised $263 million for its first fund and $300 million for its second fund.

Last year in October, Samara grabbed headlines for signing a pact along with e-commerce major Amazon.com Inc. to acquire More, the food and grocery retail chain of Aditya Birla Retail Ltd. While Samara will own a majority stake, Amazon will have a minority holding. ABRL, through two holding firms, will sell its stake in More to a facilities support company called Witzig Advisory Services Pvt. Ltd, in which both the e-commerce and the PE firms have invested in.

Last year saw the PE firm strike a number of deals via the platform route, which gives it more control over the outcome of its transactions.

For instance, in 2018, human resources investment firm First Meridian, in which Samara, Goldman Sachs and Janchor Partners are co-investors, bought three companies within four months of launching.

In October 2018, Samara-backed Oaknet Healthcare Pvt. Ltd bought some brands of the Indian unit of drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline Plc. Samara had used Oaknet to acquire the India business of Johannesburg-listed drugmaker Adcock Ingram Holdings Ltd for Rs 151 crore in April 2016.

Besides, the PE firm acquired Spoton Logistics Pvt. Ltd, along with Xponentia Fund Partners, last year.

VCCircle recently reported that the PE firm may hit the market to raise fresh capital for a new investment vehicle that would make long-term bets.

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