Private equity player Everstone Capital has sold Modern Foods, which it had taken over in early 2016 from Hindustan Unilever, to Mexican baking major Grupo Bimbo for an undisclosed sum.
Everstone in a statement on Wednesday said that Modern Food Enterprises, which was held by its bread and bakery platform Everfoods Asia, was sold to Ready Roti India, the domestic subsidiary of the Mexican major.
Grupo Bimbo is the largest baking company in the world, operating in 33 countries, including in India, and has a diversified portfolio of over 13,000 products and more than 100 brands.
Everfoods acquired Modern Foods from Hindustan Unilever in April 2016 and successfully relaunched the iconic bread brand in June 2017 nationwide.
HUL had bought Modern Foods from the government in 2000 as part of the divestment process and decided to exit as part of its strategy to leave non-core sectors.
Modern Food Industries was set up by the government 1965 as Modern Bakeries in Madras and was renamed as Modern Food in 1982. When sold off to HUL it had 13 bread manufacturing units apart from fruit juice concentrates under brand name Rasika in New Delhi and aerated soft drinks Double Seven.
When HUL took over 74 per cent of its equity in January 2000 for Rs 10.5 crore, it became the first privatisation of a public sector unit by the Vajpayee government.
Modern Foods was sold out despite having over 40 per cent of the bread market share then.
In November 2002, the government sold out its 26 per cent equity for Rs 4.4 crore to HUL and in 2006, HUL merged it with itself even though in 2001, HUL had sent it to the Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction. In April 2016 it was sold to Singapore-based Everstone Capital.
Without sharing any numbers, Roshini Bakshi of Everstone Capital claimed that Modern has unlocked its potential through its portfolio expansion and wider reach under their watch.
Singapore-based Everstone is a premier investment group focused on India and Southeast Asia, with assets in excess of USD5 billion across private equity, real estate, credit, green infrastructure and venture capital.