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Rabobank’s India fund sees first close

The Dutch bank has raised $85m for the first close of India Agri Business Fund, with IFC, FMO and DEG committing $20m each.

Rabobank, the specialist food and consumer goods bank, has raised $85 million (€53.5 million) for a $100 million fund to invest in India’s food and agri-business sectors.

The India Agri Business Fund will invest in companies in the Indian food and agri-business sector, as well as agri-infrastructure sectors such as warehousing, dedicated ports and logistics.

Rabo Equity Advisors, a subsidiary of Rabobank, which has a 51 percent stake in the fund manager, is managing the vehcile. FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial bank, and DEG, a German development finance institution, have stakes of 10 percent each in the fund management company, while the remaining 29 percent is held by Rajesh Srivastava, who heads the fund.

Srivastava has been working at Rabobank India since 1998 and is now the chairman and managing director of Rabo Equity Advisors. He told sister site, PrivateEquityOnline.com, that though the initial target of the fund is $100 million, it is likely that it will raise as much as $120 million due to the high levels of interest shown. The fund has among its investors the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private investment arm of the World Bank; FMO and DEG, who have each committed $20 million to the fund. Rabobank is sponsoring the fund with a $25 million commitment. Another $35 million will be raised from non government-affiliated institutional investors.

The IFC said in an investment proposal on its website one of the key objectives of India Agri Business Fund was to improve the scalability and operating efficiency of Indian companies in the food and agri-business sectors such that they can make the transition to global levels of competitiveness.

Rabo Equity Advisors is headquartered in Delhi and has an investment team of seven people.