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TA Associates invests $140 mn in womenswear maker ‘W’; Matrix Partners exits

22 August, 2016

US-based private equity investor TA Associates Management Lp has invested $140 million (Rs 937 crore) in TCNS Clothing Co Pvt. Ltd, which owns the ‘W’ brand of clothing for women, to buy out shares from existing shareholders including Matrix Partners India. 

The biggest ever private equity deal in the apparel industry values W somewhere between $280 and $400 million, as per VCCircle estimates.

“With TA’s experience in consumer sector and fashion, we believe this partnership will add immense value to the strategic and operational direction of TCNS,” Anant Daga, CEO of TCNS, said in a statement.

While venture capital and growth equity investor Matrix Partners has exited its five-year-old investment in the latest transaction, it is believed that the promoters too sold some stake.

The company did not share details of the transaction but said TA Associates has picked a minority stake in the privately held firm.

E-mail queries sent to TCNS and TA Associates didn’t elicit any immediate response.

Headquartered in New Delhi, TCNS Clothing designs, manufactures and sells contemporary ethnic wear, targeting women between the ages of 25 and 40. It entered retailing in 2002 when it set up its first outlet at the national capital.

Through its three brands – W, Aurelia and Wishful – TCNS operates across the value chain from economy to premium segments. W is the first Indian women’s brand to have more than 200 stores and Aurelia is available at more than 100 outlets. In addition to the physical stores, the three brands have a strong presence across large multi-brand retailers and online portals.

The brands are present in more than 1,600 points of sale across India, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and the Middle East, and in over 300 exclusive stores in more than 100 cities. The firm has achieved consumer sales of more than $120 million in 2016, resulting in 70% year-over-year growth.

“The women’s ethnic apparel market in India is largely unorganised and is undergoing a shift towards organised and branded. As the leader in branded women’s apparel, TCNS Clothing is driving this shift and providing the Indian consumer with a differentiated product and value proposition across its multiple apparel brands,” said Naresh Patwari, a director at TA Associates’ Mumbai office. Patwari will join the TCNS board as part of this transaction.

Avendus Capital that served as the exclusive financial advisor to TCNS Clothing, said the Indian women’s apparel market is predicted to reach approximately $20 billion by 2020, up from $13 billion in 2015, growing at a compound annual rate of 10%. The branded portion of this market, approximately 17% in 2015, is expected to surpass 38% over the next 10 years, it said.

BMR Legal served as legal counsel to TCNS Clothing. AZB & Partners and Goodwin acted as legal counsels to TA Associates.

TCNS deal is by far the biggest deal in the Indian apparel industry. In two other notable deals in womenswear segment, in 2013, Biba attracted Warburg Pincus and Faering Capital  while House of Anita Dongre Ltd (formerly AND Designs), the firm behind AND label, brought in General Atlantic as a private equity investor.

Big payday for Matrix Partners

The deal marks a multi-bagger exit for Matrix Partners. The Indian investment firm that is part of a global venture capital network but operates independently with India-focused funds, had originally invested Rs 60 crore in TCNS in 2011, through a mix of fresh investment into the firm and stake buy from the promoters. It had picked 16% stake then valuing the firm at Rs 375 crore. Later, it put in Rs 30 crore more into the company.

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TA Associates invests $140 mn in womenswear maker ‘W’; Matrix Partners exits

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