L Catterton to invest in India with JV led by ex-HUL chief | Know connection with LVMH boss Arnault

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New Delhi: In a major boost to the startup and consumer business ecosystem in India, the US-based private equity firm L Catterton said it will form a joint venture with former HUL CEO Sanjiv Mehta with an eye on India’s consumer market. Bernard Arnault, the richest billionaire in the world co-owns a 40 per cent stake in L Catterton with his company luxury goods maker LVMH.

L Catterton is eyeing the potential of India’s consumer market backed by the world’s largest population and accelerated GDP growth, said Michael Chu, co-CEO at the PR firm. Mehta will take over as executive chairman for India on L Catterton’s Asia platform from April 4, 2024.

LVMH-Reliance tie-up

LVMH has already marked its presence in India through an agreement with Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries. The latter’s retail arm Reliance Retail has inked a deal to bring LVMH beauty chain Sephora to India.

L Catterton’s investment strategy

The PE firm aims to deploy $35 billion in the Asia consumer segment including India. The company is eyeing the private equity segment apart from credit and real estate, Reuters reported.

L Catterton is already present in India with investments in:

Drools Pet Food
Sugar Cosmetics
Jio Platforms

L Catterton’s LVMH connection

L Catterton merged its North America and Latin America practice with LVMH and Groupe Arnault’s PE practice in Asia and Europe as well as real estate operations. This resulted in “the largest, diversified consumer-dedicated private equity firm in the world,” according to L Catterton.

LVMH is founded and run by Bernard Arnault, a French billionaire who is currently ranked the richest person in the world with a net worth of $229 billion, according to Forbes.

The partnership provides L Catterton a unique perspective on the consumer industry since LMVH owns 60 premium brands. The partnership has the following focus areas:

Consumer insights
Brand strategy
Retail expansion
Economies of scale

Who is Sanjiv Mehta?

Sanjiv Mehta is the former MD and CEO of Hindustan Unilever, the Indian arm of London-based FMCG giant Unilever. Known for his stewardship of the company during the Covid-19 pandemic, Mehta added Rs 32,000 crore value to the company’s bottom line during his 10-year tenure. He worked for Unilever in 25 countries over 21 years. HUL’s market capitalisation grew 5X to $70 billion during his tenure.

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