British International Investment

Pristine Logistics

South AsiaBusiness services

Pristine Logistics (PLIPL) is a fast-growing Indian company that develops and operates vital infrastructure to transport and handle railway freight in rural and under-served parts of the country.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

We have now exited this investment. This is what we achieved.

Achieved impact

In 2015, we invested $24 million in Pristine Logistics, an Indian inland container terminal and third-party logistics provider. It provides high quality logistics services in a market previously dominated by sub-standard government container and bulk cargo terminals.

Logistics is a key enabler of economic growth which lowers the cost of trade and manufacturing and increases productivity. However, at the time of investment, other private equity investors were not interested in providing capital due to the relatively early-stage of the company and negative sentiment around Indian infrastructure investments.

Our investment in the company enabled the development and operation of last-mile infrastructure for handling and transporting railway freight in some of India's least-connected and poorest regions.

At the time of our investment, Pristine had one operating terminal asset in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, which was on leased land. We provided capital to complete construction of two additional inland container terminals (Ludhiana in Punjab, Patna in Bihar), commence construction of a fourth inland container terminal (Siliguri in West Bengal), commence construction of a food park in Khagaria in rural Bihar, and start container train operations.

Our work with the company on environmental and social matters has formed a significant part of growing the attractiveness and reputation of this business, and the progress made has been rapid. It now demonstrates international good practice and holds ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications for environmental management and health and safety culture respectively, which has been instrumental in attracting blue chip clients and investors.

During the course of our investment, Pristine’s revenue grew by approximately 400 per cent and its operating profit increased by 923 per cent.

We exited the investment as part of an $85 million majority equity investment by IDFC India Infrastructure Fund II (IIDF). As an investor in IIDF, we will indirectly continue to support Pristine in its journey. IIDF plans to position Pristine as their rail transportation and logistics platform in India.

Expected impact

In 2015, CDC made a $25 million direct investment into the infrastructure company to help the company build essential infrastructure in low-income states such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Bihar is one of India’s largest fruit, vegetable and dairy producing states, but the lack of fast, reliable and temperature-controlled transport means that many Bihar farmers cannot bring their produce to market. The result is that substantial amounts of agricultural produce are left to rot, leading to panic selling each season.

Located deep inland, India’s low-income states are in urgent need of modern and efficient rail infrastructure. However, private capital is scarce in this region and sector, especially for early stage companies.

Pristine Logistics develops, constructs and operates greenfield rail freight terminals across northern, central and eastern India. The terminals provide handling, warehousing and transport services for businesses using the Indian Railways network for freight transport.

The food parks will bring much-needed food processing, storage and modern transport services to local farming communities.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

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    March 2024
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    South Asia

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    January 2015
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    August 2018
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