KKR inks $625 mn control deal for Fogg deo maker Vini, Sequoia exits

 KKR inks $625 mn control deal for Fogg deo maker Vini, Sequoia exits

Vini sells deodorants and cosmetics under the FOGG, OSSUM, GlamUp and other brands. Photo credit: Vini/Facebook

KKR & Co has struck a deal to acquire a majority stake in Vini Cosmetics for about $625 million (Rs 4,600 crore) in the largest private equity transaction ever in India’s fast-moving consumer goods sector.

KKR has signed a definitive agreement with Vini’s founder group, led by chairman Darshan Patel and joint managing director Dipam Patel, and Sequoia Capital to take control of the personal care and beauty products company.

The co-founders will retain a significant stake in Vini, KKR said Monday. In addition, existing investor WestBridge Capital will acquire more stake from the founder group to increase its shareholding in Vini.

Vini sells deodorants, cosmetics and toiletries under the FOGG, OSSUM, GlamUp and other brands. The company was set up in 2010 and now has one of India’s largest personal care products distribution networks with about 700,000 points of sale, 3,000 dealers and a sales force of 1,200 people. Its products are also sold in 50 countries.

Darshan Patel will continue as the chairman of Vini’s board. Dipam Patel will be appointed as vice chairman.

“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,” said Gaurav Trehan, partner at KKR.

KKR is making its investment from its Asian Fund IV. The firm had in April hit the final close of the fourth Asia fund at $15 billion, exceeding its target and making it the largest private equity vehicle in the continent.

The PE firm says it has committed $5.7 billion of equity in India through its PE strategy since 2006. Over the past 12 months, it has invested in drugmaker JB Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals, eyewear retailer Lenskart and non-bank Five Star Business Finance.

The PE firm had last year also made big-ticket investments in Jio Platforms Ltd and Reliance Retail, the digital services and retail units of billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd.

Shardul Amarchand & Mangaldas acted as legal advisor to Vini’s founders on this transaction. Steer Advisors was the transaction advisor. KKR was advised by KPMG, EY, AZB & Partners, and STB.

The transaction is likely to close in July, subject to customary closing conditions.

Sumit Upadhyaya

The Capital Quest