Standard Chartered PE infuses additional $32M in Varun Beverages
standard chartered

The private equity arm of London-headquartered Standard Chartered bank has concluded a $32 million (Rs 166 crore) follow-on investment in Varun Beverages International (VBIL), the largest bottler for PepsiCo in South Asia.

The company plans to use the newly injected funds from Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE) for the buyout of Pepsi’s 26 per cent minority stake in its subsidiary, Varun Beverages Limited (VBL). Post the buyout, the Company’s Indian beverage business will be consolidated into VBIL. SCPE had previously invested $48 million (Rs 250 crore) in VBIL in July 2011 to accelerate the company’s growth in its beverages business in India and overseas.

VBIL is promoted by the RJ Corp group which has diversified business interests ranging from beverages, fast food restaurants, ice creams & dairy products, breweries, education, health care and hospitality and operates in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Morocco.

The group manufactures and markets carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks and packaged drinking water including brands like 7 UP, Miranda, Aquafina and Tropicana.

In May last year, its group firm Devyani International had raised private equity funding from ICICI Venture. Devyani International operates India franchisees of Pizza Hut, KFC and UK-based coffee chain Costa Coffee, besides running Disney Artist outlets in the country.

Besides Devyani and Varun Beverages, RJ Corp also has a joint venture with global beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), which sells brands like Budweiser and Beck’s. It also has a JV with French dairy firm Candia, selling Cream Bell ice cream.

Ravi Jaipuria, Chairman, VBIL, said, “Broadening of the company’s capital base shall enable the company to implement its capex plans, enhance capacities and penetrate new geographies.”

In addition to VBIL, over the last 18 months, SCPE India has invested in GMR Airports, Redington, Greenko, Privi Organics, Bush Foods, Innoventive Industries, Karaikal Port, Craftsman Automation, and INOX India, said SCPE.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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