Nashik-based Sula Vineyards raises additional funding

Sula Investment

Wine making firm Sula Vineyards Pvt Ltd has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Belgium-based investment holding company Verlinvest SA, sources close to the development told Page3Nashik.

The funding process saw California-headquartered Haystack Investments Ltd selling its stake in Sula to Verlinvest, one of the sources quoted above said.

Established in 1999 by Standford alumnus Rajeev Samant, Sula Vineyards produces and exports white, red, rose and sparkling wines in India and globally. The company recently launched country’s first grape-based premium brandy and is now foraying into liquor segment.

This is the fourth time that the Belgium-based investor has backed the Indian wine maker. Verlinvest picked up 19.5 per cent stake in Sula in 2010 through purchase of primary and secondary shares. Subsequently in November 2011, it acquired additional stake in Sula along with other investors.

In 2014, Verlinvest increased its holding to over 23 per cent in the Nashik-based wine maker. The other shareholders in the company include Reliance Capital, and GEM India Advisors among others. Rajeev Samant and his family will continue to be the largest shareholder in Sula Vineyards with 40 per cent stake.

Separate emails sent to the spokespersons of Sula Vineyards and Verlinvest for details on the deal did not elicit any response till the time of filing this article. Law firm Lexygen Legal Consulting advised Verlinvest on this deal. Verlinvest, which manages assets of about $1.4 billion globally, prefers making direct investments in consumer sector. Its India portfolio includes companies like Veeba Foods Services, in which it recently invested $6 million alongwith VC firm Saama Capital. The other companies in its basket include Future Consumer Enterprises, Drums Food International, and Cuisine Asia. India’s wine market was growing with a CAGR of 16.29 per cent over a period of four years, and sparkling wine market is expected to grow by CAGR 34.26 per cent between the period 2015-2021, according to a report byIndia Wine Market Overview. According to the report, red wine is the favourite among Indian wine consumers which contribute majority of wine sales while red and white, both are traditional wine in India which will continue to grow in coming years.

India’s wine market was growing with a CAGR of 16.29 per cent over a period of four years, and sparkling wine market is expected to grow by CAGR 34.26 per cent between the period 2015-2021, according to a report byIndia Wine Market Overview. According to the report, red wine is the favourite among Indian wine consumers which contribute majority of wine sales while red and white, both are traditional wine in India which will continue to grow in coming years.

The Nashik district in Maharashtra dominates the Indian wine production, accounting for 80 per cent of the total output, as per a report in VINEX. In the sector, last year, VisVires Capital Asia has invested in Mumbai-based wine producing firm Grover Zampa Vineyards Ltd while SABMiller India acquired a stake in Bangalore-based alcoholic products maker Chamundi Distillery Pvt. Ltd.

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