Chennai-headquartered Cookie Man is the largest brand of fresh baked cookies in India, with a network of more than 50 stores and kiosks in shopping malls and airports in 20 cities across India.
Cookie Man was the first fresh baked premium cookie brand to enter the Indian market in 2000.
For the Singapore-based India-focused PE firm, the deal will complement its 2016 takeover of Modern Foods from Hindustan Unilever and add to its income from the foods business.
The Cookie Man acquisition will be managed by Modern, giving Everfoods exclusive rights to manufacture and manage the brand in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Mauritius.
India's penchant for cookies
According to Deep Mishra, MD of Everstone Group, cookies are the fastest growing segment in the biscuits category, expected to continue to grow at a double-digit rate.
“Cookie Man, with its premium and authentic cookies positioning and an extremely strong equity base, is a good fit for Everfoods and especially Modern,” said Mishra.
“This is the first of many acquisitions in the core and adjacent spaces that we are evaluating and looking to close.”
Cookie Man’s CEO Anupam Saluja will continue to work with the Modern and Everstone leadership post deal.
Modern Food was established in 1965 by the Government of India, and was the first branded bread in the country. It became one of India’s best recognized brands with a full range of white, sweet, health and wellness breads, as well as value-added bakery products such as rusks, cakes, muffins, buns and cream rolls.
Modern’s products are manufactured and marketed through a network of over 40 plants and over 80,000 outlets in India.
Singapore-based Everstone Group has assets under management of around $4bn and employs a workforce of over 250, with offices in Singapore, India, Mauritius, UK and US.
Established in 1965 by the Government of India, Modern Foods was the first branded bread in India. In the following decades,