IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has invested $27.5 million to finance the expansion and backward integration plans of Lucid Colloids and support small farmers in India, boosting their productivity and incomes.
The financing comprises compulsorily convertible debentures of $12.5 million and the balance as debt. With this investment, Lucid will be able to source guar from about 40,000 additional farmers a year in the priority state of Rajasthan.
Guar gum is a thickening and stabilizing agent used in food products, and for industrial applications. IFC’s investment will support Lucid in expanding capacity by setting up a new guar gum plant in Gujarat, two guar splitting plants in Rajasthan along with a research and development facility aimed at improving crop yield and efficiency of water and other resources.
“As we enter the next phase of our growth, IFC’s global expertise in the agribusiness sector will help us become globally competitive, strengthen environmental and social standards, and improve corporate governance practices,” said Uday Merchant, Chairman & Managing Director, Lucid Colloids. “IFC’s long-term financing will enable us to withstand price volatility of guar gum.”
In fiscal 2013, IFC invested over $4.5 billion across the global agribusiness supply chain—from farm to retail—to help boost production, increase liquidity, improve logistics and distribution, and expand access to credit for small farmers.
“Agribusiness is a priority sector for IFC in India,” said Vipul Prakash, Director for Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Services, Asia Pacific, IFC. “By expanding the market for high quality guar, this investment will increase incomes for a large number of guar farmers in India, many of whom are women, particularly in Rajasthan which is a priority state for IFC.”
Lucid Colloids is a family-owned company manufacturing guar gum and other hydrocolloids and their derivatives. The company has manufacturing plants at Jodhpur in Rajasthan and Aurangabad in Maharashtra.