The private equity arm of Standard Chartered has acquired a stake in Varun Beverages (International) Ltd in India.

In a joint statement last week, Standard Chartered and VBIL's parent, RJ Corp, confirmed that the bank will pay US$56m for an unspecified – albeit minority – holding in VBIL, which bottles, distributes and markets PepsiCo beverages in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Morocco. Although the size of the stake was not disclosed, local reports have suggested that Standard Chartered will get 5% of the unit for its investment.

Udai Dhawan, a director at Standard Chartered Private Equity who will be joining VBIL's board, said: “The current low per capita consumption of soft drinks in India offers tremendous opportunity for VBIL. The company's growth may further be aided through inorganic means.

“We are very excited to be a part of the company’s next stage of expansion,” Dhawan added.

VBIL's chairman, Ravi Jaipuria, added: “We need to build large capacities involving huge capital expenditure. The induction of SCPE into the group''s core business shall help grow this business faster.”

Back in 2007, RJ Corp secured a joint venture in India with Anheuser-Busch InBev.