ICICI Venture, the alternative asset arm of ICICI Bank, said Wednesday it has invested Rs 360 crore ($44.4 million) in Cello World Pvt Ltd, India’s second largest branded consumer houseware company, in its first bet from the new private equity fund.
Mumbai-based Cello World, a family-owned business led by Pradeep Rathod with a presence across 30,000 retail outlets through more than 300 distributors, focuses on hydration (steel and plastic bottles), thermoware, glassware/opalware categories.
Previously, the group had sold its pens and stationery business to French group BIC.
Gagandeep Singh, Senior Director, Private Equity, ICICI Venture said, “Cello World under the leadership of Rathod Family, its capable management team and its pan -India distribution network has demonstrated Industry leading growth and profitability characteristics. The organised section of the industry will see further acceleration in the coming years with branding and premiumisation gaining ground.”
The PE firm said it has received commitments of raised $325 million within a few months from launch of the fifth fund and has mainly received money from existing Limited Partners (LPs) – large sovereign wealth funds, insurance companies, banks, fund of funds and family offices.
Last year, ICICI Venture wrapped up investments from its fourth PE fund with $21 million deal in Epack Durables.
Meanwhile, the deal with Cello marks a rare transaction in the houseware industry that is fragmented and mostly unorganised even as there has been a gradual shift in business to the organised industry. In the past, another firm in the business that received private equity funding is La Opala.