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DSG Consumer Partners ropes in Belgium's Verlinvest as an anchor investor

The decision to back the consumer-focused DSGCP II fund is a rare one for Verlinvest, which manages assets worth about $1 billion but prefers making direct investments.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Mar 07, 2016, 01.03 PM IST
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MUMBAI: Verlinvest, the Belgium-based investment holding company created by the founding families of Anheuser-Busch InBev, has come in board as a Limited Partner in Deepak Shahdadpuri-led investment firm DSG Consumer Partners’ second fund - DSGCP II.

The decision to back the consumer-focused DSGCP II fund is a rare one for Verlinvest, which manages assets of about $1 billion, but prefers making direct investments.

This will be just third instance of the Belgium-headquartered family office backing an Asia-focused fund. It had earlier come on board as a LP in Singapore-based, India-focused mid-market private equity firm Everstone Capital Advisors’ second fund, and Shanghai-based ClearVue Partners’ maiden fund.

“For us clearly, India is our largest market in the region, and we are actively looking for opportunities in the country, and that is why we have partnered with Deepak in his latest fund, because we feel that over the next 3-4 years, it will bring us opportunities to back high-growth consumer companies,” Nicholas Cator, executive director at Verlinvest, told ET.

Apart from Verlinvest, which is a new investor, existing backers from Fund I have also committed to investing in DSGCP II, a list that includes, Sameer Sain, cofounder of Everstone Capital Advisors, Alok Oberoi, cofounder of asset management firm ACPI Investments and Saama Capital founders Ash Lilani and Suresh Shanmugham, amongst others, who have invested in their personal capacities.

“We are humbled by the continued support of our existing LPs and are excited by the response from new LPs. Majority of the investor interest is from European, US and Asian family offices, HNIs and endowments,” Shahdadpuri told ET.

The developments come a little over four months after ET reported that Shahdadpuri was mulling raising his second fund.

In October last year, ET was the first to report that Mauritius-based DSGCP was looking to raise about $40 -$50 million, double the size of its current capital commitment, in fresh capital for its new investment vehicle.

DSGCP II has already started investing from the new investment entity, having participated in a Rs 31 crore funding round in in cold press juice brand, Raw Pressery, last month, along with Sequoia Capital and Saama Capital.

“We are actively working on another half a dozen deals and expect to announce one or two more in the next month or two,” Shahdadpuri said.

According to him, DSGCP II will follow a similar investment theme as that of Fund I, by investing in about 20 early stage companies, across the broader consumer space, while looking to identify opportunities in health, fitness, nutrition, FMCG, financial services, fin-tech, food processing, dairy, alco-bev, among others.

The investment firm counts was one of the earliest investors in online hotel aggregator OYO Rooms, mobile point-of-sale payment services provider MSwipe Technologies and tea retail chain Chai Point,

“We have already returned 47% of Fund I from the proceeds of the full exit in Zipdial and partial exit in OYO Rooms. DSGCP II will have a more traditional offshore VC structure,” Shahdadpuri said.

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