Hong Kong and Singapore-based Tree Line Investment Managers, one of the biggest hedge funds in Asia, has picked up an 8% stake in Tata-controlled Mount Everest Mineral Water through a single open market bulk deal. The stake has been sold by Goldman Sachs for Rs 22 crore. Tree Line bought 2.54 million shares for Rs 84.9 each on October 15 in a bulk deal on Bombay Stock Exchange. Tata Tea, the promoter of the company has also been increasing its stake in the company. Tata Tea held a 33.3% stake till June 30 and has bought additional 1.6% stake, raising its stake to nearly 35%.
Tata Tea took the management control of Mount Everest last year when it bought the promoters stake and made an open offer. Tata picked up a 25.74% stake for Rs 115 crore or $28.3 million. Currently the firm has a market capitalisation of of Rs 284 crore and reported sales of Rs 24.7 crore this year. But the firm has a market share of over 50% of the natural mineral water market. Mount Everest recently re-launched the Himalayan brand of mineral water. Another similar mineral water brand is Catch.
Tree Line was ranked as the seventh biggest hedge fund in Asia last year, with capital under management of $1.3 billion. As the Indian stock markets hit its new lows, Tree Line has been increasing activity. In the past one month it has picked up stakes in chemical maker United Phosphorous, power utility firm CESC and education solutions provider Educomp Solutions.
Another Singapore-based fund that increasing its investments in the Indian market is Nalanda Capital. The fund has been promoted by Pulak Prasad, ex-Warburg Pincus and has picked up stakes in Page Industries, Carborundum Universal Ltd, and Kirloskar Oil Engines.