Private equity fund Actis has decided to sell its stake in Nilgiri Dairy Farm as a growing dispute with the southern retail firm’s former promoters threatens to derail the company’s plans and harm the private equity fund’s over Rs 300-crore investment. Actis is in talks with leading investors such as the Kolkatabased Emami, serial entrepreneur C Sivasankaran and Kitara Capital to sell its stake in Nilgiris.
Actis’ purchase of Nilgiris in 2006 was the country’s was first buyout deal and it appeared to give the private equity firm a considerable headstart over other rivals in cashing in on the retail sector which was booming. Nilgirs is a fairly well-known name in the South with a chain of stores across key cities. But a series of disputes with the former promoters, who hold 35 per cent in the company, stalled Actis’ plans. Early last month, the former promoters took Actis to court, filing a petition in the Chennai branch of the Company Law Board against Nilgiris’ rights issue.