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Rabo’s India Agribusiness Fund makes final investment

The fund has backed Beloorbayir Biotech and is now fundraising for Fund II, targeting $200m.

India Agribusiness Fund, managed by a Rabobank subsidiary, has invested Rs750 million ($12.5 million; €9 million) to Beloorbayir Biotech in its final deal, according to Rajesh Srivastava, chairman at Rabo Equity Advisors in Mumbai.

The $120 million, eight-year private equity fund, which launched in November 2008, is now fully deployed and will soon be followed by India Agribusiness Fund II, which is targeting $200 million, according to Srivastava. Fund II’s first close is expected in two-to-three months’ time and will consist of some repeat investors, he added.

The Beloorbayir Biotech investment will form two tranches and the first R500 million has already been deployed, according to Srivastava.

Beloorbayir produces nutraceutical products from herbal and plant extracts; the fund tracked the company for two years before investing after seeing the benefit of investing into nutraceuticals as a fast growing, profitable and strategically important sector for investment, Srivastava told Agri Investor.

The proceeds will be used for expanding the company’s research and development capability, setting up new lines and for international marketing.

Rabo Equity Advisors will have proactive participation in all strategic matters while the operations will be primarily the responsibility of internal management and the company’s promoters, said Srivastava.

India Agribusiness Fund was launched in 2008 and takes significant minority stakes in companies with a plan to exit after three to five years. It targets Indian food and agri companies for their growth and expansion and commits between $3 million and $12 million to each project. It has an optional two-year extension.

The investors in the fund include IFC of the World Bank, FMO, a Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, DEG, a member of the KfW banking group, CDC, the UK-based development investment firm, Capvent, a private equity fund of funds house and RWB a German fund of funds.