Press Releases

India’s First Private Equity Fund Launched by Rabobank, IFC, FMO, and DEG to Boost Growth of Agribusiness Sector

In Washington, D.C.:
Lotte Pang
Phone: +1 202 758 4290

In Delhi:
Minakshi Seth
Phone : +91 11 4111 1000

New Delhi, July 21, 2008Rabobank Group, IFC, the Netherlands’ Finance for Development (FMO), and Germany’s Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) announced they will launch the India Agri Business Fund, the first private equity fund to focus on investing in agribusiness in India. The $100 million fund aims to boost the growth of the sector by making value-added equity investments, with a focus on small and medium enterprises and companies in rural areas.

Dutch financial services firm Rabobank conceptualized and sponsored the new fund and will provide 25 percent of the committed capital. IFC, FMO, and DEG will each provide $20 million, with the balance coming from private investors. The fund will invest in companies operating in many subsectors of food and agribusiness as well as in related infrastructure such as cold chain logistics and warehousing. It will be managed by a team led by a fund manager from Rabobank and will be run in line with best practice governance and social and environmental standards.

Bert Heemskerk, Chairman of the Executive Board of Rabobank Group, said, “Agribusiness in India has enormous potential, but access to finance and technical knowledge will be critical to meet the needs of the sector as it grows. As a global leader in the food and agriculture business, Rabobank is committed to lending our knowledge and experience to the development of this sector in India. We are pleased to sponsor this first-of-its-kind private equity fund in India and welcome the support of highly respected investors like IFC, FMO, and DEG.”

Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President and CEO at IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, commented, “Agribusiness is a key priority for IFC, in India and globally. Investments to modernize and develop food and agriculture businesses are urgently needed and will have a direct impact on reducing poverty. We are pleased to support the innovative India Agri Business Fund, which will boost the development of this important sector.”

Arthur Arnold, CEO of Dutch development bank FMO, said, “FMO has been active in many sectors in India. Providing investment through this private equity fund is the most effective way to extend financial support to the fast emerging agribusiness sector.”  

Winfried Polte, Chairman of the Board of Management at DEG, said, “We are pleased to support, as a strategic investor, the first fund with a focus on strengthening the Indian agricultural and food industry. This is of major importance against the current background of rising food prices. Our investment in the India Agri Business Fund will help people in rural areas earn an income for themselves and their families, thus helping reduce poverty.”

About Rabobank
Rabobank is a Dutch bank with a special focus on food and agribusiness worldwide. It has over 9 million customers in 39 countries, with assets of over 570 billion euros globally. Rabobank is among the world’s 15 largest financial institutions in terms of Tier I capital and is the world’s only financial institution in the private sector to be rated AAA by S&P and Moody’s, having held that rating since 1984. For more information, visit

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC's vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit

About FMO
FMO is a Dutch entrepreneurial development bank with a large investment portfolio that makes it one of the largest bilateral development banks worldwide. Its mission is to stimulate sustainable economic growth and optimize development impact in emerging markets. For more information, visit

About DEG
DEG, a member of the KfW banking group (fully owned by the German government), has been financing and structuring investments in private enterprises in developing and transition countries for more than 40 years. It is one of the largest European development finance institutions focuing on promotion of the private sector. For more information, visit

Rabo Equity Advisors:
Satish Kumar
Phone: +91 981150299