Morgan Stanley fund, IFU eye Suminter


NEW DELHI : North Haven India Infrastructure Fund, managed by Morgan Stanley Investment Management Inc., along with Denmark’s Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU), have emerged as front-runners to invest in organic food exporter Suminter India Organics Pvt. Ltd, said at least two people aware of the potential deal.

Mumbai-based Suminter India Organics plans to raise between $50 million and $55 million( 408- 450 crore) through the transaction, the people said, requesting anonymity.

North Haven India, which focuses on asset-light infrastructure assets, invests in sectors such as energy, utilities, mobility, logistics, social infrastructure and healthcare. Some of the fund’s previous bets include pallet pooling firm LEAP India, waste management and recycling startup Recykal, and iBus Network and Infrastructure.

Some notable investments of IFU in India are Clean Max Enviro Energy Solutions, Leap India Food and Logistics, DCDC Health Services Pvt. Ltd and Lakshmi Agri Logistics.

Email queries to spokespeople for Suminter India, North Haven India, and IFU remained unanswered till press time.

Suminter, founded by Sameer Mehra in 2004, has been connecting small farmers with global buyers seeking high-quality organic produce. The company exports organically-grown products, including oilseeds, cereals, fibres, herbs and medicinal plants, spices, seasonings, spice mixes, ready-to-eats and other speciality products.

Suminter initially helped farmers secure certificates for organic farming—a process that took almost three years. The company currently works with over 80,000 organic farmers. The firm provides farmers with seeds and training to use various bio-manures, bio-pesticides and composting methods.

Suminter’s primary supply of organic products comes directly from its farm projects in nine states: Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttaranchal, Rajasthan, Kerala, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Mizoram.

The company generated revenue of 669 crore during FY21 compared to 417 crore in the previous year. Its net profit surged to 26 crore from 1.7 crore during the period, according to the latest available data compiled by VCCEdge.

The company had secured an undisclosed amount in funding in 2018 from Switzerland’s impact investor responsAbility Investments AG. The company’s external investors also include venture capital firm Nexus Venture Partners and alternative asset management firm Capricorn Investment Group.

In September 2017, International Finance Corp., the World Bank’s private-sector investment arm, said it planned to make an equity investment of up to $20 million in Suminter. The IFC board later approved an investment of $10.66 million, according to a disclosure on its website.

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