HARIDWAR: The L Catterton private equity fund, co-owned by luxury apparel and goods brand Louis Vuitton (LVMH), has expressed its willingness to invest $500 million to buy a stake in Patanjali, which is one of India’s biggest fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies with a range of ayurveda-based products. Reacting to L Catterton’s offer, Patanjali CEO Acharya Balkrishna said his company was “not averse to receiving funds from a multinational company like LV, but it should be in the form of a loan and not investment.” He said the company will not dilute its equity or shares.
“Patanjali prides itself in being a swadeshi brand. While we will not refuse if any foreign company wants to give us funds, we would like to make it clear that the money would be paid back and will be treated as loan. We are not willing to sell stakes to any outside company,” said Balkrishna.
“Our company is not looking at diluting equity but is seeking about Rs 5,000 crore loans in Indian currency. We will not give stake to anyone,” he said.
“If we can use foreign machines to promote swadeshi, why can’t foreign fund be accepted for the same? Foreign money will be accepted on our own terms and conditions and will be used to promote the concept of nationalism. Loans, if offered, should have better terms and conditions than what is offered by Indian banks.”
“We are getting loans from Indian banks without any problem,” he added.
Acharya Balkrishna said that the company is, perhaps, better understood by people abroad. “Whether people in our country understand Patanjali’s significance or not, people in other countries of the world appreciate the company for its products. Many foreign companies have shown an interest in investing in Patanjali, but we won’t accept any dilution of equity or shares. If any foreign company gives money we will accept it on our terms and conditions,” he said.
“In our country, much talk is going on regarding allowing of foreign direct investment (FDI). The case with Patanjali is different,” he added.
According to a report in the Economic Times, Ravi Thakran, managing partner, L Catterton Asia, had said, “We would love to work with him if we can find a model. I know his model is not to work with multinationals and with foreign money.”