Diageo India has announced an investment of Rs 31.5 crore to acquire a strategic minority stake in Nao Spirits.
Upon completion of the investment, Diageo India will hold 22.5% of the equity share capital of the company on a fully diluted basis and a call option to acquire the remaining shares on pre-agreed principles. The investment will be funded through Diageo India’s internal cash resources.
Hina Nagarajan, MD and CEO, Diageo India, said, “As a company built from founder-led brands, we are excited to make our first move in India to support bold and path-breaking entrepreneurs. Over the last three years, the Indian market has witnessed the emergence of multiple craft gin players and Nao Spirits has been a game-changer in the category. Our team is deeply committed to supporting Anand Virmani, Aparajita Ninan and Abhinav Rajput, who will continue to run the business, to deliver Nao’s vision of placing Indian craft gin amongst the world’s most coveted craft spirits."
Anand Virmani - Co-Founder, CEO, Nao Spirits & Beverages, added, “We are delighted to partner with a company like Diageo which has supported craft spirits brands. This investment is a validation of the hard work, creativity, grit and passion of our team. As we look to chart the next phase of growth of Nao Spirits, the investment from Diageo India will help scale our business, improve efficiencies, and access mentorship from an industry leader, which will be immensely valuable.”
Launched in 2016 by Anand Virmani, Nao Spirits will provide Diageo India with an opportunity to strengthen its participation in the premium gin segment in India. Nao Spirits is known for its award-winning brands ’Greater Than’ and ’Hapusa’.