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Nirula?s looking at IPO option

One of Delhi's most famous fast food chain - Nirula's - is readying a major revamp to stay in sync with the times.

india Updated: May 11, 2006 01:47 IST
Arun Kumar

One of  Delhi's most famous fast food chain - Nirula's - is readying a major revamp to stay in sync with the times. It is in the process of roping in a strategic investor or partner and is even contemplating an initial public offer in the second stage to bolster its financial health. When contacted, a company spokesperson confirmed that the company was looking for a strategic investor and planning to do an IPO. He said, “We are in a dialogue with several investors, but there is not timeline attached to the closure of thie deal.”

Hindustan Times learns that Malaysian venture capital fund Navis Capital Partners is in the race to pick up a significant stake in the company at an enterprise  valuation of  Rs 400 crore. Navis is expected to pay Rs 92 crore for 26 per cent  stake. Navis is already present in India, having acquired 74 per cent in Sanjay Narang's  Mars Hotels and Restaurants.

In the past there have been attempts by the Thapars (Global Green) and Jaipurias to buy out Nirula's. However, nothing came of this. There was also some talk of a Filipino company, Jollibee Foods, which was in talks to snap up the retail chain. Ravi Jaipuria was also seen as a suitor. Jaipuria, one of the biggest bottlers of Pepsi owns the rights for Pizza Hut, Cream Bell and Costa Coffee in India.

Nirula’s, a Rs 100-crore entity, introduced Delhi to fresh pizzas, ice creams  and burgers. Mostly run through franchisee outlets, it also operates three hotels in the capital. Apart from Delhi, it has expanded its reach to other parts of northern India including Gurgaon, Noida, Panipat, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Ludhiana, Agra and Dehra Dun. It has a network of 64 outlets, of which, 59 are in the NCR.