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Rabobank-backed fund picks up 40% in Olive Bar for Rs. 100 cr.

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Becomes significant investor in the restaurant chain

India Agri Business Fund II, a private equity fund sponsored by Rabobank, has picked up 40% stake in Olive Bar & Kitchen Private Ltd. (OBKPL) from other PE investors for about Rs. 100 crore.

The fund bought the entire stake held by Aditya Birla Private Equity along with a few other shareholders to become a significant investor in the company.

‘No fine dining’

Rajesh Srivastava, chairman, Rabo Equity Advisors said they want OBKPL to remain in the casual, mid-market segment and not in fine dining segment which is more risky.

“Agri food sector is growing big time, all sub sectors are growing in double digits and so is food service,” said Mr. Srivastava. “Food service has different formats — casual dining, fine dinning, mass market etc. We were waiting for the right deal where the format has been tried and tested,” Mr. Srivastava told The Hindu.

“We want to ensure that they are not in the fine dining segment which, I think, is a little bit risky because per store cost is higher.

“So, if one outlet does not do well, then the cost of closure and relocation becomes very high,” he added.

He said while the restaurant chain is present in three cities — Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi — plans are on to expand to other cities and in overseas geographies in the times to come. OBKPL owns various brands, including Olive, Fatty Bao, Toast and Tonic, Sodabottle Openerwala, Guppy by Ai and Lady Baga. The food service company has 33 outlets.