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August 19, 2006

Navis: A PE firm with a taste for restaurants

Business Today has a short profile of Malaysia-based PE firm Navis, which is a majority investor in three Indian Food & Beverage firms - Sky Gourmet, Mars Restaurants and Nirula's.
For Navis, food is one of the most "empirically analysable business." Simply put, not only is it possible for Navis to link the profitability of an outlet to its location and its socio-economics, it is also possible for the firm to assess future profitability. "The range of uncertainty in any retail concept is much narrower than in say technology."

Then, Navis is not foraging only for food in India. Bloy is ready to invest up to $300 million (Rs 1,410 crore) over the next five years in India. "Any business related to consumer spending or even the light industrial sectors would be interesting." Navis is in talks with a packaging company and another that supplies storage tanks and pipelines, and expects to close at least one deal by 2006-end.

Arun Natarajan is the Founder of Venture Intelligence, which tracks private equity and venture capital in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.