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deGustibus changes hands, IVFA takes over


India Value Fund Advisors acquired a controlling stake for USD 30 million. Arkekar denies any association with them.

Indigo has got a new owner. India Value Fund Advisors, an Indian PE fund acquired a controlling stake in deGustibus Hospitality, the parent of Indigo, reinforcing the growing investor appetite for India’s consumption story.

The Vishal Nevatia-led India Value Fund is making a USD 30 million investment in deGustibus, which also operates Indigo Deli and Tote on the Turf, to ramp up expansion in the country’s USD 700 million premium dining market.

Rahul Akerkar started with Indigo in 1999 and today deGustibus runs 15 outlets across multiple brands in Mumbai and Delhi. Tata Group’s private equity fund and several other investors, too, had explored buying into deGustibus, which has ambitious plans to penetrate new market segments with novel concepts.

India Value Fund joins a growing list of private equity investors like New Silk Route, Everstone and TVS Capital that have been betting big on restaurants, on which consumers spend a considerable chunk of their wallets.

“deGustibus has a very strong talent pool of long-serving chefs and business managers, whom we are backing to grow the company. We have twin objectives: strengthen and grow the current brands by adding more outlets, and introduce new concepts to penetrate new market segments,” said Haresh Chawla, partner, India Value Fund.


Akerkar, who started as a dishwasher in a French bistro in the US and returned to India to start his own chain of restaurants, will continue to hold a stake in deGustibus. Naresh Chander Oberoi, chairman of Powerica, maker of diesel generators, will remain a minority shareholder in the company.

However, Akerkar, in a message directly to the NRAI via Twitter denied any association with this development.

“I’ve no association with #IVF nor #deGustibus, nor for many months now,” he tweeted.

Over the last few years, private equity investors have shown a keen interest in India’s food and beverage sector, institutionalizing the unorganized but high-margin businesses. In the recent past, New Silk Route took controlling stake in well-known chain Moshe’s, CX Partners invested in Barbeque Nation and Aditya Birla Private Equity bought into Olive Bar & Kitchen.

Source Times of India

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