Lighthouse India Fund III, Limited, an affiliate of Lighthouse Advisors, India’s leading, consumer-focused private equity manager, is investing over Rs 250 crore (US $35 million) to acquire a minority stake in Aqualite Industries, one of India’s leading footwear companies.
Founded more than three decades ago, Aqualite offers more than 6,500 SKUs in hawai, non-hawai and shoe product categories. The products are sold under several sub-brands, under the umbrella of ‘Aqualite’. The company operates through its manufacturing units located across Haryana and Rajasthan. It has a pan-India distribution network of 35,000 retailers, with significant presence in north and east India. The company is expecting a turnover of over Rs 800 crore in the current financial year.
“We are very excited to partner with Lighthouse, given their impressive track record of investments in over twenty-five brands. We look forward to their support and guidance for our next leg of growth. We plan to utilize the capital for marketing, capacity expansion and growth plans,” shared Davinder Gupta, Founder, Aqualite Industries.
Sachin Bhartiya, Partner at Lighthouse, added, “We strongly believe in the growth story of footwear Industry in India with the current under penetration (per capita spend of only 1.8 pairs p.a. vs 3.1 in China) and consumer preference shift towards branded wear. Aqualite has achieved scale in footwear industry, on back of product quality and relationship with the channel partners. We are very excited by the growth opportunity ahead of the company.”
EY acted as the sole financial advisor to the company for the fund raise.
Lighthouse is a leading mid-market private equity firm focused on growth investments in India’s consumer sector. It has backed marquee consumer centric brands such as Bikaji Foods, ethnic snack food player, Kama Ayurveda, luxury premium ayurvedic personal care brand, FabIndia, ethnic lifestyle brand and Cera, leading sanitary ware brand.
Aqualite marks the fourth investment for Lighthouse in the current year. Last month, the fund invested Rs 160 crore in Duroflex, a leading mattress brand in south India. In September, it made an investment of Rs 113 crore in Nykaa, India’s premier beauty retailer, while in June, it invested Rs 83 crore in Tynor Orthotics, a leading orthotic soft goods brand.
Other portfolio companies of Lighthouse include laminates maker Stylam Industries, QSR chain Wow! Momo and value retailer V2 Retail.