In a match not really made in heaven - as one is a global MNC, while the other's model is not to work with MNCs - Louis Vuitton wants to buy stakes in Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Ayurved. Louis Vuitton or LMVH is what French group LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE is popularly known as.
According to a report in Economic Times, Ravi Thakran, managing partner of L Catterton Asia said that they would love to work with Baba Ramdev if they could figure out a model. "I know his model is not to work with multinationals and with foreign money," he added. L Catterton is a private equity fund co-owned by LMVH. They are ready to put USD 500 million, which is half of its remaining Asia fund into Patanjali that has emerged as one of the fastest growing FMCG companies in India in recent years.
The phenomenal growth of Patanjali has made its competitors revamp their ayurvedic products. Thakran told ET that Patanjali has been a disruptor in its categories and that it has taken Indian-ness and celebrated it. Thakran believes that Patanjali Ayurved could take its products to Eurpoe, US, Japan, China and South Korea and that L Catterton could help in that endeavour.
Getting a stake in the company might be a challenging prospect as Baba Ramdev has always projected his company as shudh desi and as anti-MNCs. The company's 'swadeshi' label has also been highly instrumental in shooting the company to success.
Acharya Balakrishna, MD of Patanjali Ayurved, said that the company will not give stake to anyone but they are ready to talk to L Catterton. According to the report in ET, Balakrishna and co. are however, looking for Rs 5,000 crore in loans in Indian currency and rates that are lower than what banks are offering.
"We won't accept any money in equity or shares but when the country is using foreign technology for progress and if foreign money comes and gives us on our conditions we will accept," Balakrishna said to ET.
The loans they are seeking are to set up plants in Greater Noida, Assam, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Nagpur, Haryana and Rajasthan. They are also planning to cultivate aromatic and herbal plants in Arunachal Pradesh.