Qatar Investment Authority owned Hassad Food Company (HFC) announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Delhi-based Bush Foods Overseas Pvt. Ltd, a basmati rice and ready to eat product maker. Bush Foods sells premium basmati rice with the brand names such as Neesa, Himalyan Crown and the Indian star with turnover of about Rs. 1,340 crore till March 2013.
Hassad has bought out confidential stake held by Standard chartered Private Equity in Bush Foods and additional stake from Awasty family, but Virkaran Awasty will continue to be the chairman and managing director. HFC has taken more than 51% stake in Bush Food with investment of more than $100 million.
According to Hassad, India is a big opportunity and has allocated about $500 million to invest over next thre to five years. The categories which Hassad would explore in India will be spices, ready-to –eat food and meat, vegetables and fruits. Hassad also plans to position itself as the major supplier in the basmati rice domain.
Bush Foods was established on 1992, and has a turnover of over $235 million with more than 250,000 outlets across the world. They have a rice processing capacity of 1.8 lakh tones and exports stood at Rs. 500 crore last fiscal year.
Hassad-Bush Food is the second such deal where a global firm has acquired an Indian basmati rice firm. Previously US food major, McCormick formed a joint venture with Kohinoor Foods to market the latter’s basmati rice in India.