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DealStreetAsia

KKR takes controlling stake in India's Vini Cosmetics for $625m

The startup targets further expansion in India, South Asia and other growing markets

KKR has invested about $5.7 billion in India since 2006 pursuing its private equity strategy.    © Reuters

CEBU, Philippines -- Private equity leader KKR has announced acquisition of the majority stake in Vini Cosmetics, a branded personal care and beauty products company in India, for $625 million.

KKR will acquire the stake from Vini's founders, led by Darshan Patel and Dipam Patel, and Sequoia Capital, which took a minority stake in the company in 2013.

The investment will be through Asian Fund IV, KKR's $15-billion Asia-focused buyout fund, the largest private equity fund dedicated to investing in Asia-Pacific.

According to the announcement, Vini's co-founders will continue to hold a significant stake in the company, while existing investor Westbridge Capital will increase its shareholding.

Based in Ahmedabad, Vini Cosmetics manufactures, markets, and distributes deodorants, cosmetics and toiletries through FOGG, its flagship brand, and other recognized brands, such as OSSUM and GlamUP, among others.

The company has built one of India's largest personal care products distribution networks with approximately 700,000 points of sale and 3,000 dealers, supported by a sales force of 1,200 people.

"Vini has established itself as one of the fastest-growing personal care companies in India, and the strong consumer brand loyalty for FOGG and its other personal care products is truly impressive," Guarav Trehan, a partner at KKR, said.

Following completion of the deal, Darshan Patel will remain as chairman of the Vini board, and Dipam Patel will be appointed vice chairman, according to the announcement.

Darshan Patel said Vini has experienced remarkable growth over the last 11 years but he believes the company is still in the early stages of finding out what it can deliver to consumers in India, South Asia and other fast-growing markets around the world.

"We look forward to leveraging [KKR's] global platform, resources and operational expertise to take Vini to the next level by expanding our e-commerce platform, growing new product categories, and broadening our distribution networks," he said.

KKR has committed approximately $5.7 billion of equity to India since 2006 pursuing its private equity strategy.

Over the past 12 months, the company has made other investments there, including in JB Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals, a branded pharmaceutical products company; Lenskart, an omni-channel eyewear retailer; Five Star, a lender to small businesses; Reliance Jio, a technology platform; and Reliance Retail, an operator of India's largest, fast-growing and most profitable retail business.

For the original story from DealStreetAsia, click here.

DealStreetAsia is a financial news site based in Singapore that focuses on private equity, venture capital and corporate investment activity in Asia, especially Southeast Asia, India and greater China. Nikkei owns a majority stake in the company.

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