French luxury group eyes to invest $500 Mn in Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali

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French luxury group LVMH Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton is eyeing to invest a whopping $ 500 million (Rs 3,250 crore) in Patanjali Ayurveda led by Yoga-turned-business stalwart Baba Ramdev.

Today, Patanjali spokesperson SK Gupta Tijarawala through his Twitter account said that “Acharya Balkrishna (MD of Patanjali) has said that just as we use foreign technology for our development, we do not hesitate to use foreign funds for the benefit of our country, but we will take it on our own terms. We will not give share/stake.” The Report was first published in ET.

Interestingly, Balkrishna said the company is in immediate need of Rs 5,000 crore to set up plants in Nagpur, Greater Noida, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana and Rajasthan and for the cultivation of aromatic and herbal plants on 10,000 acres of leased land in Arunachal Pradesh.

So far, Patanjali is getting loans from banks without any hiccups. According to Balkrishna, the firm will only accept outside capital in the form of a loan with a lower interest rate than the banks.

Ravi Thakran, MD of L Catterton private equity fund co-owned by LVMH, said that the firm would love to work with Patanjali if they can find right synergies.

According to Thakran, Patanjali could sell its products in markets such as the US, Japan, China, South Korea and Europe. L Catterton could help Patanjali in exploring overseas market.

LVHM is eying to pump-in $500 million which is half of its Asia-focused fund size to buy a stake in FMCG companies focusing on Ayurveda-based products.

Patanjali closed the last financial year (2016-17) with Rs 10,000 crores in sales and claimed as the second largest homegrown consumer goods company. It is now planning to tie-up with all the major Indian online retailers such as Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm Mall, and others to increase the sales of its FMCG products.

In December, Patanjali Ayurved also announced to enter into manufacturing solar power equipment with an investment of Rs 100 crore.

While Baba Ramdev and his business arm Patanjali positioned themselves as the flag bearer of Swadeshi movement, going forward it would be interesting to see how Patanjali responds to the interest of foreign investors.



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