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Warburg completes $49m India deal

The firm has teamed with Faering Capital to acquire ethnic retailer BIBA Apparels. 

Warburg Pincus and Faering Capital have together invested INR 30 billion (€36 million; $49 million) in ethnic apparel company BIBA Apparels, the largest-ever private equity investment in the ethnic-wear sector, according to a joint company statement.

The firms did not disclose the size of the stake they took in the business.

BIBA manufactures women and girls’ ethnic wear in India, selling its products in over 330 stores or through e-commerce portals in the country.

The investment from Warburg and Faering will be used to expand its product lines and presence both on and offshore. BIBA also plans to expand its distribution network and strengthen its competitiveness in higher-end fashion through new product launches and joint ventures with designers.

“Warburg Pincus’ investment in BIBA reflects its recognition of the company’s high-quality management team led by Siddharth Bindra. Over the last two decades, BIBA has built a leading women’s ethnic wear brand in an industry that continues to demonstrate positive growth trends. We are excited to partner with BIBA’S management team as they continue to grow the business going forward,” Vishal Mahadevia, managing director and co-head of India at Warburg Pincus, said in the statement.

India is one of Warburg’s key markets in Asia, the firm sealing an exit to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts with portfolio company Alliance Tire in April this year. KKR bought a controlling stake in the business for a reported $500 million.

The exit generated close to a 4x return for Warburg, an industry source told PEI in a previous interview. 

Warburg is also making moves into new Asian markets with its latest $11.2 billion global fund, which closed in May this year. At the time, a source close to the firm said Warburg would be strengthening its capabilities in the Southeast Asian region, hiring an investment professional to lead its Southeast Asia operations.