Bain-Piramal’s IndiaRF fund bets on Manipal Group’s fragrance unit

 Bain-Piramal’s IndiaRF fund bets on Manipal Group’s fragrance unit

India Resurgence Fund (IndiaRF), the distressed assets investment vehicle jointly set up by Piramal Enterprises Ltd and Bain Capital Credit, said Wednesday it has invested Rs 310 crore ($41 million) in Primacy Industries Ltd.

Mangalore-based Primacy Industries, a part of Manipal Group, said it will use the funds to strengthen its books and boost its growth plans.

Established in 2005, Primacy has evolved from a single plant operation in retailer branded (private label) candles, to an independent manufacturer in the home fragrance sector. It has over the years done tactical add-on acquisitions to grow its business.

Primacy’s operations are based at Mangalore in Karnataka and in Gujarat. It caters to some of the biggest stores in the US, Europe and the Middle East, including Walmart, Dollar General, Tesco, Homebase, Dollar Tree, H&M, Family Dollar, Kmart Sears, Rite Aid, Woolsworth, Wilko, Home Center and Home Max, as per its website.

“India is amongst the lowest cost manufacturing destinations globally and we see huge potential for a high quality, global platform like Primacy to benefit from greater manufacturing outsourcing opportunities in fragrance & allied consumer product categories,” said Shantanu Nalavadi, managing director at IndiaRF.

This is the third deal for IndiaRF in the last five weeks. Last month, it invested in Thrissur Expressway Ltd, a part of Hyderabad-based KMC Constructions Ltd and agreed to invest up to Rs 615 crore ($83 million) in Setco Automotive Ltd.

IndiaRF makes both debt and equity investments in distressed companies across sectors other than real estate. It looks to invest in businesses that require balance sheet restructuring. It had previously struck deals to invest in drugmaker Panacea Biotec Ltd, and chemical companies Archean Chemical Industries and Archean Salt Holdings Pvt. Ltd. However, the Panacea deal fell apart last year.

Bain and Piramal—the two sponsors—have committed $100 million to the fund. In 2018, International Finance Corporation came in as a limited partner to fund with a cheque of $100 million. IFC, the World Bank’s private-sector arm, said at the time that the fund was aiming to raise $1 billion (Rs 6,500 crore then). Canada Pension Plan Investment Board committed $225 million to the fund in December 2019.

Vivek Sinha

The Capital Quest