Rabobank launches PE fund to boost Indian agribusiness

July 18th, 2008 - 9:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 18, 2008(IANS) Rabobank Group, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Finance for Development (FMO) and Deutsche Investitions und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) Friday announced flotation of the first private equity fund focused on investing in agribusinesses in India. The $100 million fund aims to boost the growth of India’s agribusiness sector by making value-added private equity investments with a focus on small and medium enterprises and companies in rural areas.

Dutch financial services firm Rabobank conceptualized and sponsored the fund and will provide 25 percent of the committed capital. IFC - a member of the World Bank Group, FMO, and DEG will each invest $20 million, with the balance to be tied up with private investors.

The fund will invest in companies operating in the more than 38 sub sectors of food and agribusiness as well as in agri infrastructure such as cold chain logistics and warehousing.

Bert Heemskerk, chairman of the executive board of Rabobank Group, said, “Agribusiness in India have enormous potential but access to finance and technical knowledge will be critical to meet the needs of the sector as it grows.”

Lars Thunell, IFC’s executive vice president and CEO, commented that, “agribusiness is a key priority for IFC in India and globally. Investments to modernize and develop food and agriculture businesses are urgently needed and will have a direct impact on reducing poverty. We are pleased to support this innovative fund that will boost the development of businesses in this important sector.”

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