New York-based private equity fund, India Equity Partners, has bought a controlling stake for 180 crore in Sagar Ratna Hotels, a 25-year-old popular chain specialising in South Indian cuisine. The funds will be used to open 200 more outlets over three to four years and revamp the format of the existing 70 restaurants, most of which are in North India, said a person close to IEP.
While the chain's founder, Jayaram Banan, will continue to be the chairman, the operating partner at IEP, Arvind Nair, will join as the chief executive officer. IEP founder and managing director Gaurav Mathur will become a non-executive director.
Sagar Ratna Hotels, which has been on the block for over a year, saw a revival in investor interest with a few PE players, including IEP, initiating talks to buy the company early this year. Sagar Ratna Hotels Pvt Ltd, which runs the chain, posted a net profit of 10 crore on sales of close to 70 crore in the year ended March, according to industry estimates.