ICICI Venture to Pick Up Minority Stake in Anthea
Mumbai: ICICI Venture is investing about .₹ 120 crore for a ‘significant’ minority stake in Anthea Aromatics, which makes and exports chemicals to firms across the world for use in food flavouring and fragrances.
The investment — the first from ICICI Venture’s new $500 million (about .₹ 3,330 crore) fund, India Advantage Fund Series 4 (IAF4) — comes soon after the highly successful initial public offering of SH Kelkar, India’s largest fragrance and flavours manufacturer.
The fund saw a first close of about $190 million. ICICI Venture is the private equity arm of ICICI Bank, the country’s largest private sector lender.
Navi Mumbai-based Anthea Aromatics, founded by Vincent Paul, a former head of organic chemistry at Hindustan Lever, is the country’s second-largest aroma chemicals marketing and manufacturing company.
It is among the most profitable companies in India, with a leading presence in terpene chemicals. A niche segment characterised by significant entry barriers, these chemicals are used as active intermediates for manufacturing end products in the $25 billion global flavours and fragrances industry. The Anthea Group comprises four companies, two of which are equal joint ventures with DRT of France, the world’s largest processor of crude sulphate turpentine, a key raw material in the manufacture of aroma chemicals. Together with group companies, Anthea is currently among the world’s top five terpene-based aroma chemical manufacturers. Other than DRT, its key customers include P&G, IFF and Givaudan.
In 2015-16, the group earned revenue of .₹ 350 crore, largely driven by exports. The company has four operating manufacturing units in Maharashtra, with an ongoing expansion project. It is looking to expand with two more units in the Mangalore special economic zone.
“Anthea is a well-established player in the Indian specialty chemicals sector with a strong value proposition in the form of existing scale of business operations, substantial growth prospects with demonstrated scale-up experience through a high-quality management team,” said ICICI Venture’s MD Prashant Purker.
He said: “We had identified specialty manufacturing as one of the focus sectors in IAF4 and our deal with Anthea fulfils that objective.”
Anthea Aromatics plans to use the investment from ICICI Venture largely to fund its expansion. “We are currently undertaking large expansion projects to enhance capacities by over 4x over the next three-four years. Together with increasing capacities of existing products, we are also looking to expand our portfolio of aroma and pharma intermediates based on several patented and in-house R&D developed products,” said Vincent Paul, founder of the Anthea Group.