• | 11:30 am

L Catterton, former HUL CEO Sanjiv Mehta form JV

Consumer-focused joint venture will invest in Indian enterprises, including startups

L Catterton, former HUL CEO Sanjiv Mehta form JV
[Source photo: NeonUV/Wikimedia Commons]

Global consumer-focused investment firm L Catterton has tied up with former Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) chief executive officer (CEO) Sanjiv Mehta to set up a joint venture that will invest in Indian enterprises, including startups.

Mehta has been appointed executive chairman of India, effective 4 April, and will be involved with L Catterton Asia as well as the investment firm’s other global fund platforms, the company said in a press release.

Mehta has had an over 30-year stint with Unilever group, most recently as president of Unilever South Asia as well as chairman, CEO and managing director of HUL from 2013 to June 2023.

Mehta oversaw a fivefold increase in the market capitalization of HUL to INR 6.2 trillion (about $76 billion), making it India’s fifth largest public company by market cap and the country’s largest fast-moving consumer goods company.

He earlier also held various other senior leadership positions at Unilever.

“I am particularly excited to join and support L Catterton’s India and Asia team as the firm deepens its commitment to the region,” Mehta said in the statement.

“As I have come to know the firm’s leadership, I have developed deep respect for the unique way they operate and create value, aided by their strong core values and culture. With L Catterton’s global reach, investing expertise in the consumer sector, and familiarity with the region, all augmented by its strategic partnership with LVMH and the Arnault family office, the firm is very well positioned to succeed. I look forward to working closely with the team and helping to capitalize on the significant opportunities ahead.”

L Catterton Global co-CEO Michael Chu said: “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 and invest in the consumer businesses that will shape the landscape of tomorrow.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Sanjiv, and to work together to create a differentiated partnership that leverages his deep understanding of the Indian consumer, in combination with our disciplined and proven category-first and operating-centric approach to investment and value creation,” Chu said.

L Catterton Asia managing partner Scott Chen said: “This is a strategically important initiative for our Asia platform and for our firm globally.”

“Asia is expected to drive more than half of the world’s GDP growth this decade, fueled by young, technologically enabled and highly dynamic consumers. This unique joint venture brings our firm’s global network and capabilities together with Sanjiv’s insights and experiences to create a compelling offering for investors,” Chen added.

L Catterton Asia partner and head of India Anjana Sasidharan said: “The long-term tailwinds that are shaping India’s consumers will continue to create many exciting opportunities across consumer categories where we can leverage our experience of building over 275 brands across the world.”

“Sanjiv’s experience at Hindustan Unilever, which provides market-leading products and services to over 90% of Indian households, is extremely relevant and valuable. His partnership will deepen our in-market network, insights, and capabilities and we look forward to further growing our franchise in India and throughout Asia,” Sasidharan added.

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