Rabo Equity Advisors makes maiden investment

The Dutch bank's subsidiary has invested INR450m from its $100m Indian agribusiness fund for a minority stake in an Indian agri-biotech company.

Rabo Equity Advisors, a subsidiary of Dutch bank Rabobank, has invested INR 450 million ($9 million; €7 million) into Sri Biotech, an Indian agri-biotech company.

The firm’s maiden investment is for a significant minority position that will increase from “28 percent to 38 percent over the next two years through a structured mechanism”, according to a joint statement from Rabobank and Sri Biotech.

Sri Biotech manufactures and markets bio-organic agri inputs used for crop nutrition and protection. The company also produces seeds, multi micro nutrients and biologically enriched organic manure.
The funding will be used to boost in-house research and development, focusing on seed research and development of new molecules for crop protection and infrastructure.

The investment was made out of the $100 million India Agri Business Fund, which invests in Indian food and agribusiness companies. The fund also invests in the agri-infrastructure sectors in areas including warehousing, dedicated ports and logistics. The capital injection gives the fund two seats on Sri Biotech’s board of directors.

Sponsored by RaboBank, the fund’s three lead investors are International Finance Corporation, the private investment arm of the World Bank; FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial bank; and DEG, a German development finance institution.

Rabo Equity Advisors is headquartered in Delhi and led by Rajesh Srivastava, who also holds 29 percent in the fund management company.