Verlinvest invests in Future Consumer
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Belgium's family-owned consumer-sector focused investment company Verlinvest, a Limited Partner for private equity firm Everstone Capital, has picked up 2.9 per cent stake in Future Consumer Enterprise Ltd (FCEL), the food and FMCG arm of Kishore Biyani-led Future Group on Friday.

The stake was acquired from a foreign portfolio investor BNP Paribas for around Rs 67 crore or a little over $10 million as per filings.

Verlinvest lists Future Consumer as well as the fashion apparel and accessories company of the Future Group, Future Lifestyle, as part of its global portfolio. It could not be immediately ascertained if BNP Paribas held the stake on behalf of Verlinvest. Verlinvest does not figure among the prominent institutional investors of Future Lifestyle but BNP Paribas entity does.

An email sent to Verlinvest on the development did not immediately elicit a response.

Verlinvest that had separately partnered Everstone in February 2012 to build a portfolio of food and beverage (F&B) assets in India and Southeast Asia is its co-investor in several ventures such as Pan India Food Solutions, a restaurant operator and owner of Noodle Bar, Bombay Blue and Copper Chimney brands.

FCEL (formerly known as Future Ventures) is a part of Future Group that operates a neighbourhood retail chain in 102 cities and 60 rural locations.

Besides its food product brands FCEL houses KB's Fairprice and Big Apple, convenience and supermarket chains, besides Aadhaar, a rural wholesale distribution unit. It is also into food parks business.

Recently, the company completed the buyout of convenience stores chain Nilgiri's run by The Nilgiri Dairy Farm Pvt Ltd by acquiring its remaining stake.

In May, it had bought the consumer products division of the diversified Aditya Birla Group firm Grasim Industries Ltd.

Around the same time, FCEL also announced that it is exiting from non-core beauty and wellness chain business, which is housed under its wholly-owned subsidiary Star & Sitara Wellness Ltd.

Shares of Future Consumer last traded at Rs 15.90 each, up 4.61 per cent on BSE in a strong Mumbai market on Friday.

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