L Catterton private equity fund co-owned by LVMH is ready to bet $500 million almost half of its remaining Asia fund to buy a stake in the enterprise that has emerged as one of India’s biggest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies with a range of ayurveda-based products in the past few years. This has forced global and local rivals including Hindustan Unilever, Colgate Palmolive and Dabur to ramp up their ayurvedic portfolio.
Ravi Thakran, managing partner, L Catterton Asia said “Patanjali has the potential to go to the world and I can tell you today that Patanjali has been a disruptor in its category, as strong a disruptor as many of the global disruptors are and it has taken Indian-ness and celebrated it with pride. Patanjali could sell its products in markets such as the US, Japan, China, South Korea and Europe and L Catterton could help in that effort”.
Getting a stake in the company doesn’t look like a possibility, although Patanjali is looking for funding. Ramdev has positioned himself and Patanjali as anti-multinational, taking a swadeshi tack that has propelled the company to the top ranks in the past few years.
Patanjali chief executive Acharaya Balkrishna said “Company isn’t looking to dilute equity but is seeking about Rs 5,000 crore in loans in “Indian currency” at rates that are lower than those offered by banks. UBS has lined up meetings with several foreign investors to this end. “We will not give stake to anyone”.