ICICI Venture makes first investment from fifth PE fund


NEW DELHI: ICICI Venture, the alternative investment arm of ICICI Bank, on Wednesday said it has invested 360 crore, or around $44.3 million, in consumer houseware company Cello World, marking its first bet from the fifth private equity (PE) fund.

This is the first PE raise by family-run business Cello World, with presence across 30,000 retail outlets through more than 300 distributors, ICICI Venture said in a statement.

In March, Puneet Nanda, managing director and chief executive officer of ICICI Venture, had told VCCircle that ICICI Bank’s alternative investment arm was in talks to raise at least $350-400 million for its fifth PE fund and also mulling to launch an early-stage growth fund.

ICICI Venture’s fifth PE fund has raised $325 million within a few months from its launch, mainly from existing investors – large sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, banks, fund of funds and family offices, the statement added.

Set up in 1988, ICICI Venture now manages four funds with total PE assets under management (AUM) of $1.65 billion across four funds – India Advantage Fund (IAF) Series 1, 2,3 and 4. The IAF-4 fundraise was closed at $250 million (around 1,900 crore) in September 2017.

The PE major has invested in over 60 companies across all four funds. Some of its marquee investments include the recently-listed Go Fashions India, Theobroma Foods, Metropolis Health Services, Home Solutions (a subsidiary of Pantaloons Retail, owned by Aditya Birla Group), Bharat Biotech and Epack Durable Pvt Ltd.

“Cello World has demonstrated Industry leading growth and profitability characteristics. The organised section of the industry will see further acceleration in the coming years with branding and premiumisation gaining ground,” said Gagandeep Singh, senior director, Private Equity, ICICI Venture.

Cello World is the flagship company of Cello Group, which provides consumer houseware products across steel, plastic, glass and opalware categories.

“We are confident of company maintaining its growth and profitability trajectory while providing the consumer with quality products. We look forward to benefitting from the vast managerial expertise of ICICI Venture as we expand our presence across products and geographies,” said Pradeep Rathod, chairman and managing director at Cello World.

Earlier, VCCircle had reported that French stationery maker BIC Group has acquired a 40% stake in India’s Cello Group for $160 million.

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