L Catterton Starts India Unit With Ex-Unilever Veteran Sanjiv Mehta

L Catterton, backed by French luxury group LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, is launching a new vehicle to invest in Indian consumer-sector companies as it increases the focus on the fastest-growing major economy in the world.

The Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm has partnered with Sanjiv Mehta, a former Unilever Plc. executive, to launch the investment unit focusing on consumer sector, the company said in an emailed statement on Thursday. Mehta had worked at the London-based consumer goods giant for almost three decades and led its businesses in South Asia for years.

The investment firm’s plan aligns with other global firms, from Canadian pensions to sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East, which are deploying billions of dollars in the country, lured by the combination of strong economic growth and political stability. Blackstone Inc., the world’s largest alternative asset manager, also expects India and Japan to be its most active markets in Asia next year based on capital allocation.

Mehta will be the executive chairman of India for the vehicle and will also be involved with the firm’s other global funds, according to the statement. With as much as $34 billion of assets under management globally, L Catterton has invested about $600 million to back firms in India, its key market in Asia, along with Japan and China, according to the company.

“With India now having the world’s largest population and generating high GDP growth, there has never been a better time to deepen our commitment to the market,” L Catterton’s global co-chief executive officer J. Michael Chu, said in the statement.

By Alex Gabriel Simon

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