Advent International has agreed to acquire a majority stake in DFM Foods Ltd, a provider of packaged snack foods in India. The sellers include WestBridge Capital. According to terms of the deal, Advent will purchase up to 34.1 million DFM shares at a price of INR 249.50 per share.
MUMBAI, September 9, 2019 – Advent International (“Advent”), one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors, today announced that it has signed definitive agreements to acquire a majority interest in DFM Foods Ltd. (“DFM” or the “Company”), a leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor of packaged snack foods in India, from its promoters, WestBridge Crossover Fund, LLC and its subsidiaries, and certain other individual shareholders (together the “Selling Shareholders”).
Under the agreements, Advent will purchase up to 34.1 million DFM shares, representing up to 68% of the Company’s outstanding stock on a fully diluted basis, from the Selling Shareholders at a price of INR 249.50 per share. With the sale of shares, DFM’s promoters and WestBridge will fully exit their investments in the Company.
In accordance with the Securities and Exchange Board of India regulations, Advent will make an open offer to DFM’s public shareholders to purchase up to an additional 26% of the Company’s stock at a price of INR 249.50 per share. Depending on the open offer subscription, the aggregate consideration for the purchase of shares from the Selling Shareholders and the open offer will vary between INR 852 crore and INR 938 crore ($118 million to $130 million).
The transaction, Advent’s seventh investment in India in the past four years, is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed in three to four months. Following the completion of the open offer, DFM will remain publicly listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) under the symbol “DFM” and the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) under the symbol “DFMFOODS.”
DFM is a pioneer in the Indian snack food market and has been a leader in the space for over 35 years. Since introducing its flagship brand, “CRAX” corn rings, in 1984, the Company has expanded its portfolio to more than 15 products. Today, it markets corn rings, corn puffs, wheat puffs and crispy sticks under the “CRAX,” “CURLS,” “NATKHAT” and “FRITTS” brand names, respectively. It also offers a range of traditional “namkeens,” or savory snack foods, including bhujiyas, daals, mixtures and nut mixes, in a variety of pack sizes.
With manufacturing facilities in Ghaziabad and Greater Noida, DFM sells its products through an extensive distribution network spanning the entire country. Over the last 10 years, the Company’s sales and EBITDA have grown at a compound annual rate of 21% and 24%, respectively, making it one of the fastest-growing companies in its category.
“DFM is a leader and innovator in a large, fast-growing segment of the Indian food and beverage industry,” said Shweta Jalan, a Managing Director and Head of India at Advent International. “The Company has strong brand awareness and distribution and numerous opportunities for continued growth. We are excited to partner with DFM to help drive its next phase of expansion.”
“Over the past 35 years, we have established a position as one of India’s leading snack food providers, bringing excitement to people’s lives through our innovative, high-quality snacks and brands,” said Mohit Jain, Chairman and Managing Director of DFM Foods. “We appreciate the support we have received from WestBridge Capital in expanding the company over the past five years and welcome Advent International as DFM’s new majority shareholder to help drive continued growth and consolidate the business in the future.”
“The food and beverage market in India is a fragmented, regional industry, and we look forward to working with DFM to build a larger and broader food and beverage business through further organic growth and targeted M&A,” said Sahil Dalal, a Director at Advent in Mumbai.
Sandeep Singhal, Co-founder and Managing Director of WestBridge Capital, said, “The Founders at DFM have created a company known for its quality products, loved brands and robust distribution. It has been a wonderful journey to see the business grow from strength to strength over the last five years. We wish the Founders, Company and Advent the best of luck for the future.”
Advent Operating Partners V.L. Rajesh and Manu Anand helped Advent to evaluate the investment opportunity and will continue to advise Advent and DFM on the development and execution of the value creation plan for the business going forward. Mr. Rajesh is the former CEO and COO of ITC Foods, the No. 3 food business in India, and played a critical role in building brands such as Aashirvaad, Bingo!, Sunfeast, YiPPee! and Candyman. Mr. Anand was most recently President of the Chocolate Business at Mondelēz International in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to that, he was Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo India and is widely credited with building PepsiCo’s snack food business in India.
Advent International has been investing in India since 2007 and opened its Mumbai office in 2009. Over the past 12 years, the firm has deployed more than $1 billion in nine companies with headquarters or operations in India across sectors such as consumer products, financial services, healthcare, industrial and technology. Recent investments include Aditya Birla Capital, the holding company of the financial services businesses of Aditya Birla Group; Manjushree Technopack, India’s largest provider of rigid plastic packaging solutions; Dixcy Textiles, a leading innerwear brand; ASK Group, a leading wealth and investment management business; QuEST, a global engineering solutions provider; and Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals, India’s leading supplier of consumer electrical goods and lighting.
Advent also has significant investment experience in the retail, consumer and leisure sector. In the past 29 years, the firm has invested more than $11 billion in over 75 companies in the sector worldwide.
ICICI Securities Limited is serving as financial advisor to Advent International and is managing the open offer. KPMG is acting as exclusive financial advisor to DFM Foods.
ABOUT ADVENT INTERNATIONAL
Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in over 345 private equity transactions in 41 countries, and as of March 31, 2019, had $36 billion in assets under management, which does not include the $17.5 billion recently raised for its ninth global fund, GPE IX. With offices on four continents, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 195 investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including business and financial services; health care; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology, media and telecom. After 35 years dedicated to international investing, Advent remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for its portfolio companies. For more information, visit www.adventinternational.com.
ABOUT DFM FOODS
DFM Foods is a pioneer in the Indian packaged snack food business. Established in 1983, the Company’s flagship brand, “CRAX,” was the first successful packaged snack food in India. Today, DFM manufactures, markets and sells products such as corn rings, corn puffs, wheat puffs and crispy sticks under the “CRAX,” “CURLS,” “NATKHAT” and “FRITTS” brand names, respectively. It also offers a range of traditional “namkeens,” or savory snack foods. The Company has manufacturing facilities in Ghaziabad and Greater Noida and sells its products through an extensive distribution network. Its shares are listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange of India (NSE). For more information, visit www.dfmfoods.com.
ABOUT WESTBRIDGE CAPITAL
WestBridge Capital is an India focussed investment management firm, with ~$2.9 billion of assets under management. WestBridge Capital seeks to partner for the long term, primarily with high performing entrepreneurs and management teams at well-run and growth focussed mid-sized companies in India, whether public or private. For more information, visit www.westbridgecap.com.