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Blackstone, Actis eye minority investment in India’s Balaji Wafers

19 Aug 2013

Balaji WafersBlackstone Group and Actis are among private equity firms interested in investing up to $125m in Indian snack maker Balaji Wafers, it is understood.

Professional services firm EY has been hired to find backers for the Gujarat-based business according to Reuters, which cited two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

It added that Balaji managing director Chandu Virani had confirmed the company was in talks with private equity firms about an investment but refused to provide details.

Balaji says it has a 90 per cent share of the Gujarat snack wafers market and 70 per cent market share for namkeen, a generic term for Indian snack foods.

Last month Blackstone agreed a $110m deal for a 98 per cent stake in Indian car parts maker Agile Electric Works.

The move was Blackstone’s 16th in the Asian country according to a previous report by Reuters.

That deal was only the third time Blackstone had taken a majority position in an Indian business, reflecting the wider attitude of private equity investors in the country.

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